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Archive for November, 2021

On Target Trade

Monday, November 22nd, 2021

Target (TGT) reported earnings before the bell on Wednesday that beat estimates on both revenue and profits. The company also expects its fiscal Q4 comparable sales growth to be higher than previous forecasts. Moreover, TGT claimed the supply chain mess has not been an issue – store shelves are full and ready for the holiday buying onslaught.

Analysts were mostly bullish on the report, giving TGT several target price increases (there was one lower price). One went as high as $350, a 38% premium to Friday’s closing price. The stock price was not rewarded, however. The shares dropped 4.7% on Wednesday and slid further the rest of the week. However, this was a common theme among several retailers, including Walmart (WMT). In fact, the overall retail sector was lower for the week.

The pullback dropped the shares to just above their 50-day moving average (blue line in chart). This trade is thus a bet that TGT will regain its footing and stay above the 50-day as holiday sales numbers – that are predicted to be robust – start rolling in. The short 245 strike (red line) of our put credit spread is below the 50-day, relying on trendline support to hold through expiration.

If you agree that TGT will stay atop its 50-day moving average line in chart), consider the following trade that relies on the stock remaining above 245  (through expiration in six weeks.

Buy to Open TGT 31Dec 240 put (TGT211231P240)
Sell to Open TGT 31Dec 245 put (TGT211231P245) for a credit of $1.60 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when TGT was trading around $251. Unless the stock rises quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will be only $1.30 per spread.  Each spread would then yield $158.70. This trade reduces your buying power by $500 and makes your net investment $341.30 ($500 – $158.70) for one spread.  If TGT closes above $245 on December 31, both options will expire worthless and your return on the spread would be 46% ($158.70/$341.30).

An AFRMation Trade

Monday, November 15th, 2021

Affirm Holdings (AFRM) provides a platform for point-of-sale payments for consumers and merchants. In August, AFRM announced a partnership with Amazon.com (AMZN) to offer flexible payment solutions to customers with AMZN purchases above $50. AFRM reported earnings on Wednesday after the bell that missed on profits but beat on revenue. The company also raised sales guidance.

Wall Street apparently forgave the earnings miss, largely because it was not clear if the discrepancy used comparable numbers. Moreover, AFRM said its AMZN relationship as a buy-now-pay-later service was exclusive. Clearly, analysts were looking at AFRM’s growth prospects, as the company was greeted with several target price upgrades that reached as high as $185 (the stock closed at $149 on Friday).

After a nasty, four-day 21% plunge heading into earnings that pulled the stock to its 50-day moving average, the stock rebounded 13.7% the day after the earnings news. Given the earnings rebound, analyst target upgrades and deal with AMZN, we are going with a bullish trade on AFRM that keys on the stock maintaining its three-month rally and staying atop its 50-day moving average (blue line in chart). The short put strike of our credit spread sits at $133 (red line in chart), just below the 50-day.

If you agree that AFRM will continue its uptrend and stay atop its 50-day moving average line in chart), consider the following trade that relies on the stock remaining above $133  (through expiration in seven weeks.

Buy to Open AFRM 31Dec 128 put (AFRM211231P128)
Sell to Open AFRM 31Dec 133 put (AFRM211231P133) for a credit of $1.85 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.05 less than the mid-point of the option spread when AFRM was trading at $149. Unless the stock rises quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will be only $1.30 per spread.  Each spread would then yield $183.70. This trade reduces your buying power by $500 and makes your net investment $316.30 ($500 – $183.70) for one spread.  If AFRM closes above $133 on December 31, both options will expire worthless and your return on the spread would be 58% ($183.70/$316.30).

A Me(h)T Trade

Wednesday, November 10th, 2021

MetLife (MET) won’t get anyone’s juices flowing. It’s frankly a rather boring insurance and financial services company that’s been around for 158 years. But who cares … if we can make money on a trade, right?

MET reported earnings last week that beat estimates on the top and bottom lines. Hardly anyone noticed. Analysts were silent. There were no stories other than a dry listing of its key performance numbers. And the stock fell 2% the next day. Ho hum.

But MET is up 36% for the year, which is well ahead of the S&P 500’s 25%. After a swoon in June and July, the stock has been grinding steadily higher along the dual support of its 50-day and 200-day moving averages. The key is the 50-day (blue line in chart), which has allowed just three daily closes below it during the past three months. This trendline, which is rising slightly, sits at $61.10, which is above the short strike of our put spread trade. Thus, MET would have to pierce this support to hurt this trade. And the 200-day (red line in chart) sits at $61 to provide another layer of support. The last time MET closed below the 200-day was more than a year ago.

If you agree that MET will continue its slow ascent and stay atop its 50-day moving average line in chart), consider the following trade that relies on the stock remaining above $62.50  (through expiration in six weeks.

Buy to Open MET 17Dec 60 put (MET211217P60)
Sell to Open MET 17Dec 62.5 put (MET211217P62.5) for a credit of $0.75 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.04 less than the mid-point of the option spread when MET was trading at $64. Unless the stock rises quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will be only $1.30 per spread.  Each spread would then yield $73.70. This trade reduces your buying power by $250 and makes your net investment $176.30 ($250 – $73.70) for one spread.  If MET closes above $62.50 on December 17, both options will expire worthless and your return on the spread would be 42% ($73.70/$176.30).

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