Options Traders Blast Kroger Stock on Buyback Plan

There is plenty of room for upgrades amongst the brokerage bunch

Digital Content Manager
Dec 30, 2021 at 10:08 AM
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Grocery name Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) is up 1.3% to trade at $45.28 this morning, after the company's board authorized a $1 billion share buyback plan. The new measure will replace the repurchase program that is currently in place, which has about $157 million left.

Digging deeper, Kroger stock is bouncing off the supportive 40-day moving average. The security attempted to rally towards a Sept. 2, all-time high of $47.99 just a couple weeks ago, but ran into resistance from the $47 level. Year-over-year, though, KR is up 43.3%.

The brokerage bunch is pessimistic towards Kroger stock, leaving plenty of room for upgrades going forward. Of the 15 analysts in coverage, 13 gave KR a tepid "hold" or worse rating. Should some of these firms start to change the tune, shares could move even higher.

Meanwhile, the options pits lean bullish. The security's 50-day call/put volume ratio of 2.49 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) sits higher than 95% of readings from the last year. This indicates calls have been getting picked up at a faster-than-usual clip in the past two months.

Options traders are blasting the security today. So far, 8,526 calls and 6,518 puts have crossed the tape, which is four times what is typically seen at this point. Most popular is the 12/31 46-strike call, followed by the 45-strike put in the same weekly series, with new positions being opened at both.

Data suggests it could be a good time for traders to target KR with options. The stock has a Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 25%, which ranks in the low 15th annual percentile -- suggesting volatility expectations are unusually low right now. 


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