Citron Strike Lights Up Tailored Brands Inc (TLRD) Options Pits

Tailored Brands Inc (NYSE:TLRD) is sinking on a biting tweet from short seller Citron Research

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on May 13, 2016 at 3:27 PM

Near the end of a generally dreadful week for retail stocks, Tailored Brands Inc (NYSE:TLRD) -- the holding company previously known as Men's Wearhouse Inc -- is down 5.8% at $13.34. This negative price action follows a scathing tweet from short seller Citron Research, suggesting the suit merchant should be on the verge of bankruptcy, calling it an "obvious 0" and "the most irrelevant retailer out there." With TLRD on the short-sale restricted list, bearish options traders have been quick to respond, and puts are crossing the tape at breakneck speed.

Specifically, puts are crossing at 37 times the average intraday rate, with nearly 6,400 traded so far, compared to fewer than 800 calls. In fact, nine of the 10 most active TLRD options today are puts, with the top two spots belonging to the May 12 and 14 strikes. It appears traders are buying to open new positions at these strikes, meaning they expect the shares to extend today's retreat through next Friday's close, when the front-month options expire.

But a preference for puts is not a total change of pace for TLRD. In fact, at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the equity's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.66 -- albeit amid a typically lightly traded options arena -- ranks higher than 93% of the past year's readings.

This skepticism is toward TLRD is seen outside of the options pits, as well. Short interest on the security stands at an elevated 17.5% of the equity's total float -- or more than two weeks' worth of trading, at the stock's typical daily volume. And four out of five analysts maintain a tepid "hold" rating on the shares.

All this pessimism is hardly surprising, though, considering TLRD has given up 80% of its value since last June's record high of $66.18 -- due in part to an early November huge bear gap. Plus, with today's drop, Tailored Brands Inc (NYSE:TLRD) is set to close south of it's 20-week moving average for the first time since early March.

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