2 Retail Stocks Shake Up Sector After Earnings

Options traders have both TGT and LOW in sight following the results

Deputy Editor
Nov 16, 2022 at 10:05 AM
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Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) and Lowe's Companies Inc (NYSE:LOW) both reported third-quarter financial results before the open today. Wall Street is trying to unravel the retail sector following the reports. While sales data for October topped expectations, Target issued a warning for the holiday season that spooked investors.

Trouble Looming for Target?

Specifically, Target said it expects a drop in holiday season sales, after missing third-quarter earnings estimates by 59 cents per share. The company also cut its current-quarter operating margin forecast in half, as shoppers continue tighten their purse strings amid high inflation. Target also announced a cost-cutting plan to save up to $3 billion per year, following recently revealed plans for larger-format stores. The stock was last seen 14.9% lower to trade at $152.18, adding to an already hefty 43.8% year-over-year deficit. 

Lowe's stock, meanwhile, is 3.5% higher this morning, and was trading at $216.14 at last glance. The home improvement retailer beat top- and bottom-line estimates, and reported better-than-expected comparable store sales. Put traders were hammering LOW ahead of the event, but could be disappointed as the equity tacks onto its 13.2% quarterly lead.

Options Activity Ramping Up

Options traders are piling on both stocks following the results. Within the first half hour of trading, Target stock's overall options volume is running at 22 times the intraday average amount, with 37,000 calls and 40,000 puts exchanged so far. Optimism is higher for Lowe's stock, whose 6,404 calls and 4,865 puts amount to eight times what's typically seen at this point.


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