Bulls Stampede Skechers U.S.A., Inc. (SKX) Amid All-Time High

Skechers USA Inc (SKX) shorts are likely kicking themselves during today's rally

Apr 23, 2015 at 11:12 AM
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Skechers USA Inc (NYSE:SKX) is booming today, jumping to an all-time high of $86.49 earlier, after the company's first-quarter numbers smashed analysts' expectations. At last check, the shares were 13.3% higher at $85.86, and bullish options traders are trying to get in on the action. Calls are crossing at 13 times the normal intraday volume and three times put volume. It appears traders are buying to open the July 80 call, expecting SKX to extend its upward momentum further beyond $80 by July expiration.

Looking at SKX's options data leading up to today shows short-term options traders have been unusually interested in calls. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) stands at 0.26, meaning call open interest outstrips put open interest nearly by a factor of four, at least among options expiring in the next three months. Plus, this ratio is lower than 98% of readings taken in the past 12 months, meaning near-term speculators are way more call-skewed than normal.

This focus on calls may be associated with the equity's elevated short interest level. By the numbers, 14.3% of SKX's float is sold short, and would take over eight sessions to buy back, at the stock's average daily volume. Some of these bearish traders may have used long call options to hedge their bets in case of an upward move in the underlying, as we're seeing today.

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It's somewhat odd to see short sellers so interested in Skechers USA Inc (NYSE:SKX), given its long-term success on the charts. Even before today's bull gap, the shares had nearly doubled during the past 52 weeks. Meanwhile, a number of analysts are betting on SKX to extend this momentum, with the stock receiving post-earnings price-target hikes at Susquehanna (to $89), Citigroup (to $93), Sterne Agee (to $90), and Monness Crespi Hardt (to $90).


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