Bed Bath & Beyond Stock Surges on Kroger Partnership Buzz

Options traders are blasting the heavily shorted stock today

Digital Content Manager
Nov 3, 2021 at 2:01 PM
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Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ:BBBY) is surging today, last seen up 20.8% to trade at $20.23. Today's pop came after the company announced an in-store and online partnership with Kroger (KR) to expand the latter's home and baby offerings. In addition, the company said its share buyback program is ahead of schedule, prompting a trading frenzy among retail traders as they target the heavily shorted stock, along with other speculative trading darlings such as Gamestop (GME) and AMC Entertainment (AMC).

It's no secret Bed Bath & Beyond is among Wall Street's most heavily shorted names. Short interest rose 23.4% in the most recent reporting period, and the 26.81 million shares sold short make up 26.9% of the stock's available float, or over a week's worth of pent-up buying power.

Analysts echo that pessimism, with 12 of the 13 in coverage calling BBBY a "hold" or worse. Plus, the 12-month consensus target price of $19.40 is a 5.5% discount to the stock's current perch. This leaves plenty of room for upgrades and/or price-target hikes going forward.

The security is now trading at its highest level since September, after spending over a month testing a floor at the $14 level. This bull gap also has the shares eyeing their first close above the 40-day moving average in roughly two months. Year-to-date, BBBY is up 15.4%.  

BBBY 40 Day

Meanwhile, calls are getting picked up at a much quicker-than-usual clip. This is per the  security's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 14.87 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which sits higher than all other readings in its annual range.

Today's options pits are brimming with activity. So far, 281,000 calls and 101,000 puts have exchanged hands, or 13 times the intraday average. Most popular is the weekly 11/5 25-strike call, followed by the November 25 call, with positions being opened at both.


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