Call Traders Target CSX After Strong Results

Analysts were more tepid in response to CSX's earnings beat

Deputy Editor
Oct 21, 2022 at 10:48 AM
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CSX Corp (NASDAQ:CSX) is up 3.2% at $27.95 at last glance, after the transportation and logistics company's strong third-quarter report. CSX reported adjusted earnings of 51 cents per share on revenue of $3.90 billion, beating analyst estimates of 49 cents per share on $3.74 billion. 

Analysts chimed in with mixed and muted price-target adjustments after the event. JPMorgan Securities raised its price target by $2 and BofA Global Researched upped its by $1 to both land on $33, while Cowen & Company cut its price objective to $32 from $33, and Stifel lowered its own to $35 from $37. Currently, the 12-month consensus price target of $32.69 is a 17.9% premium to current levels. Of the 21 analysts in coverage, 12 carry a "buy" or better rating, with nine a "hold" or worse. 

CSX has been consolidating between $26 and $29 since its recent Oct. 13 two-year low of $25.80, though pressure appears to be forming at the upper rung at $29. Year-to-date, the equity is down 26.1%. 

Options bulls are targeting the stock after the event. So far, 5,022 calls have been exchanged -- seven times the intraday average -- in comparison to 621 puts. The October 27.50 call is the most popular, followed by the weekly 10/28 28-strike call, with new positions being opened at the latter. 

Those options traders are in luck, considering CSX's Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) ranks at a relatively high 78 out of 100. This suggests the stock has exceeded option traders' volatility expectations during the last year.


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