Blue-Chip Retail Stock Falls Despite Beat-and-Raise

Options volume is running at 8 times the intraday average

Assistant Editor
Jan 6, 2022 at 10:18 AM
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The shares of blue chip Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ: WBA) are down 2.4% to trade at $52.69 at last check, despite the retailer beating top- and bottom-line estimates for its fiscal first quarter. The pandemic continued to create tailwinds for the security, as it increased demand for Covid-19 vaccinations and testing. In response, the drugstore chain hiked its 2022 forecast, noting it expects adjusted earnings per share to grow instead of stagnate.

There has been a flurry of activity in WBA's options pits in response to the event. Already, 30,000 calls and 5,422 puts have crossed the tape, or eight times the intraday average. New positions are being opened at the most popular contract, the weekly 1/7 55-strike calls, which indicates these traders see upside for the shares by tomorrow's close.

Walgreens stock is now on track to snap a four-day win streak. Should today's negative price action hold, it would also mark its worst daily drop since mid-December. Still, WBA has support from multiple long- and short-term moving averages, and sports a 23.9% year-over-year lead.

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