McDonald's Agrees to Terms of Sale for Russian Business

Options traders have favored MCD puts in recent weeks

Deputy Editor
May 19, 2022 at 1:28 PM
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McDonald's Corp (NYSE:MCD) "Golden Arches" are leaving Russia. The blue-chip fast food giant is selling its business to its current licensee in the market, Alexander Govor. Financial terms of the sale were not released, though McDonald's said it expects a record noncash charge of $1.2 billion to $1.4 billion. Govor will acquire all existing locations in Russia, and rebrand them under a new name.

McDonald's stock is trading 0.2% lower following the announcement, last seen at $230.03. Clinging to a 0.3% year-over-year lead, MCD still sits nearly 14% below its 2022 breakeven mark. Despite the lackluster price action, the shares remain off their March 10 12-month low of $217.67, when MCD -- alongside sector peer PepsiCo (PEP) -- was contemplating suspending its operation in Russia in response to the country's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

Options traders have favored bearish bets in recent weeks, with MCD's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.97 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) standing higher than all other readings from the past year. Echoing this, the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.27 stands higher than 85% of readings from the last 12 months, indicating a clear put-biased amongst short-term options traders.

However, McDonald's stock ranks low on the Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS), with a score of just 23 out of 100. This means the security has consistently realized lower volatility than its options have priced in, making it a potential premium-selling candidate



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