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Kohls (KSS) Solid Earnings Keeps Rally Alive

It wasn’t that long ago that KSS was given up for dead. At the bottom of last year’s plunge in late March, the stock bottomed out below $11. Retail was in trouble. Today, the stock is up five-fold after a blowout earnings report this past week. Earnings more than doubled the analyst estimate. And though revenue declined, the final tally beat estimates as well. And earnings in the year ahead also exceeded analyst expectations.

Despite KSS’s recent performance, the analyst community remains skeptical. While there were several target prices increases, the new prices were not that far from the current price. Moreover, there were no upgrades. Just a third of the covering analysts rate KSS a buy, which is hard to justify given that the stock is up 36% this year alone (SPY is up less than 3%). As analysts eventually warm to the shares, there is plenty of room for future upgrades that could give the stock a boost.

KSS’s chart shows the 20-day moving average as the primary support trendline. In fact, there have been just three daily closes below the 20-day in the past four months. Note that the short strike of our credit spread (red line below) lies below the 20-day, so the stock would have to pierce this support for the spread to move into the money.

KSS Chart March 2021 - Post Earnings Options

KSS Chart March 2021

If you agree KSS’s uptrend will continue, consider the following trade that relies on the stock remaining above $52.50 through expiration in six weeks.

Buy to Open KSS 16Apr21 50 Put (KSS210416P50)
Sell to Open KSS 16Apr21 52.5 Put (KSS210416P52.5) for a credit of $0.85 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when KSS was trading at $55.69. Unless the stock rallies 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 $83.70. This reduces your buying power by $250 and makes your investment $166.30 ($250 – $83.70).  If KSS closes above $52.50 on April 16, both options will expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 50% ($83.70 / $166.30), or 436% annualized.

As with all investments, you should only make option trades with money that you can truly afford to lose.

Happy trading,


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