GrubHub Inc (GRUB) Sinks to New Lows As Uber Moves In

Uber's food delivery service is bad news for GrubHub Inc (NYSE:GRUB)

by Josh Selway

Published on Jan 21, 2016 at 2:38 PM

As most of Wall Street enjoys a rare rally, food delivery concern GrubHub Inc (NYSE:GRUB) is watching from the sidelines. The shares were last seen down 5.5% at $19.30, earlier hitting an all-time low of $18.65, as traders react to news that Uber is expanding its food delivery platform, UberEats. The stock has now lost almost 60% since its all-time high of $47.95 in late March. 

Meanwhile, analysts are also displaying newfound skepticism. Cowen and Company this morning lowered its price target to $20 from $22. If the shares don't turn things around on the charts, more bearish notes could be in store, too. For one, GRUB's average 12-month price target still sits at $30.95. Plus, 64% of covering analysts say the stock is a "buy" or better, with none issuing "sell" recommendations.

Pessimism is already prevalent in other areas of Wall Street. Short interest increased by over 11% during the past two reporting periods. Now, it would take GRUB short sellers exactly three weeks to buy back their bets, going by average daily trading volumes. 

What's more, put buying has nearly hit extreme levels recently. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), GRUB sports a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 4.45, which is higher than 98% of all similar readings taken in the past 12 months. In short, there's been intense interest in put buying recently. 

In today's trading, puts are outpacing calls by roughly a factor of two. One of the most popular contracts is the February 12.50 put. However, it appears traders may be selling to open the option as a way to bet on GRUB holding above $12.50 through front-month option expiration on Friday, Feb. 19. 

And selling premium on GrubHub Inc (NYSE:GRUB) looks like a great idea right now. The stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) comes in at 93% -- just 1 percentage point from an annual high. In other words, premium on the stock's near-term options is rather steep at the moment, from a volatility perspective.

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