By: Steve Smith
Earnings from retailers are starting to hit the wires fast and furious this week; while the all important holiday season is not included in the current quarter’s results we are getting a glimpse of how they expect to fare during the make or break period that kicks off with Black Friday in two weeks time.
The early results show that even reduced expectations are looking hard to beat. Take Target -please—its stock is getting hit by more the 10% today after reporting merely inline numbers. And note, it’s not like the stock had run up into today’s report.
The main culprit spurring the selling seemed to Target’s inability gain traction from it’s online business. Despite heavy investment over the past few years, some new initiatives re-signing ‘celebrity brands’ and free delivery or outside store pick up, online and digital still account for less than 4.7%% of Target’s overall sales.
Target is stuck with it’s legacy big box format and is getting squeeze by both behemoths Amazon and WalMart on price and convenience, and from smaller stores able to offer more unique products and shopping experience.
I’m not sure what turns the Target ship around, but I’m steering clear of this stock.
On the other hand, take Best Buy, the electronic retailer which was on the brink of bankruptcy a few years ago, has done a great of turning itself around and finding renewed relevance in the changing retail landscape.
The company has done well in repositioning itself in the online world, especially in a sector focused on electronics.
It moved away from the “show rooming” reputation it was labeled with, made clear it would price match, and created the Geek squad to provide good-valued customer service with reliable delivery and installation.
All of these factors have turned Best Buy into a very formidable competition to Amazon, where consumers come to not only physically look and handle the products but also make the purchase.
I think given the line-up of new products, from OLED screens, video games, new Apple phones 8 & X, voice power speakers etc, that BBY management will provide very upbeat guidance leading into the holiday season.
Best Buy stock is ripe for a breakout to new highs.
THE Set Up:
Reports: 11/16 Before Open
Implied Volatility: 135%
Expected Move: 8.4% or $4.70
Strategy: Bull Call vertical
Entry Price: Net Debit $1.10 (don’t go above $1.40 debit)
Target Exit : Net Credit of $2.20+
-Buy to open 3 contracts BBY November 55.5 Calls
-Sell to open 3 contracts BBY November 58 Calls
For Net Debit of $1.10 (do not go above $1.40)
My expectation is for Best Buy stock to deliver solid top and bottom line numbers, and most importantly, strong forward guidance.
This should send shares above the $58 level putting our spread fully -the-money. If prices act as expected, our trade will deliver a 95% profit overnight. That will be a good way get your holiday shopping started on the right foot.
Steve Smith have been involved in all facets of the investment industry in a variety of roles ranging from speculator, educator, manager and advisor. This has taken him from the trading floors of Chicago to hedge funds on Wall Street to the world online. From 1987 to 1996, he served as a market maker at the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE) and Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). From 1997 to 2007, he was a Senior Columnist and Managing Editor for TheStreet.com, handling their Option Alert and Short Report newsletters. The Option Alert was awarded the MIN “best business newsletter” in 2006. From 2009 to 2013, Smith was a Senior Columnist and Managing Editor for Minyanville’s OptionSmith newsletter, as well as a Risk Manager Consultant for New Vernon Capital LLC. Smith acted as an advisor to build models and option strategies to reduce portfolio exposure and enhance returns for the four main funds. Since 2015, he has worked for Adam Mesh Trading Group. There, he has managed Options360 and Earning 360, been co-leader of Option Academy, and contributed to The Option Specialist website.
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