Dick's Sporting Goods Inc (DKS) Options Traders Brace for Post-Earnings Pullback

Dick's Sporting Goods Inc (NYSE:DKS) shareholders may be hedging with put options ahead of earnings

Nov 14, 2016 at 12:31 PM
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Sporting goods retailer Dick's Sporting Goods Inc (NYSE:DKS) has put in some solid earnings performances recently. The stock has gained in the session following an earnings release in four straight quarters, including a rally of 7.1% last quarter, and an even more impressive jump of 8.6% the quarter before. With the company scheduled to report earnings ahead of the open tomorrow, DKS has been performing well on the charts, but some options traders may be preparing for a post-earnings pullback.

Starting with the technical backdrop, DKS shares earlier today hit a record peak of $62.88, and were last seen 3.7% higher at $61.64. Year-to-date, DKS is now up a whopping 74%. The stock's impressive performance this year may help explain options traders' preference for put options in recent weeks. 

Looking at data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), DKS options traders have purchased 2.75 puts for every call during the past two weeks. This 10-day put/call volume ratio outranks 78% of the past year's readings, indicating how unusually put-skewed these speculators have been. Reinforcing this point is DKS' front-month gamma-weighed Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.42. Given the stock's technical strength, it's likely at least some of this seemingly bearish activity is due to shareholders locking in paper profits ahead of tomorrow's event. 

Digging deeper into the options data, the just-underfoot November 57.50 put has seen the largest increase in open interest during the past two weeks. In fact, this option is now home to peak open interest for all DKS options. However, ISE data shows that while there has been buy-to-open activity here, the majority of the action has been sell-to-open, meaning traders are betting on Dick's Sporting Goods holding above $57.50 through this Friday's close, when the front-month options expire. 

DKS stock isn't without its skeptics, though. Short interest has increased by almost 20% during the past two reporting periods, and now represents 6.3% of the stock's total float. Going by the equity's average daily volumes, this equates to four days' worth of buying power. 

Most analysts have a bullish outlook on Dick's Sporting Goods Inc (NYSE:DKS), with 18 of 25 handing out a "buy" or better rating, while none have issued a "sell" opinion. On the other hand, DKS' average 12-month price target comes in right near current levels, at $63.77. As such, a strong showing in the earnings booth could bring forth a round of price-target hikes for the stock. 

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