Lumber Liquidators Holdings, Inc. (LL) Bulls Bite on Buyout Buzz

Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc (NYSE:LL) is getting a lift from rumors of a Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD) buyout

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Jun 12, 2015 at 2:52 PM

Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc (NYSE:LL) soared out of the gate on talk of a Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD) takeover, up by as much as 12.4% at its intraday peak. However, the stock has since pared its gain to 3.3% at $21.31, after an HD spokesperson called it "pure rumor and speculation." Nevertheless, option bulls are still interested in LL calls, which are running at quadruple the typical intraday pace.

Aside from spread activity, it looks like traders are buying to open the out-of-the-money July 22 call. In so doing, these speculators believe LL will topple $22 by back-month expiration, at the close on Friday, July 17. At its intraday high, the stock was flirting with $23.20, but has ended just one session north of $22 since May 26. As such, delta on the call is only 0.50, or the flip of a coin.

Outside of the options pits, opinions range from skeptical to bullish. Specifically, all 11 analysts tracking LL consider it a "hold." Meanwhile, over 30% of the stock's float is sold short -- though it would take less than two days to repurchase these positions, at average daily levels.

On the charts, today's upside move represents a break from the longer-term downtrend. So far in 2015, a series of scandals and resignations has pressured shares of Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc (NYSE:LL) to a 68% deficit. More recently, the stock has been consolidating in the $20-$23 neighborhood, and just touched a three-year low on Tuesday.

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