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BBBY Put Options Pick Up as Stock Sells Off

Karee Venema

Options volume is heavy on Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ:BBBY) this afternoon, as the stock slumps post-earnings. With BBBY shares last seen down 19.4% at $13.41 -- firmly on the short-sale restricted list -- the bulk of the action has occurred on the put side, with speculative players finding a way to target even more downside for the retail name.

By the numbers, around 83,200 puts have changed hands, compared to roughly 53,500 calls. Total options volume is running at six times the expected intraday rate, and pacing in the 99th percentile of its annual range. The weekly 1/10 and January 2020 14-strike puts are most active, and all signs point to buy-to-open activity here. By doing so, traders anticipate a bigger drop below $14 for BBBY stock.

This bearish backlash has been seen elsewhere on Wall Street, too. Credit Suisse slashed its price target to $11 from $14 after the home goods retailer reported an unexpected fiscal third-quarter loss and lower-than-anticipated net sales, and withdrew its full-year forecast.

It's not all bad news for Bed Bath & Beyond today, though. While the stock is on track for its worst day since September 2018, the selling has stalled near BBBY's 320-day moving average. The security still remains up almost 82% from its mid-August bottom around $7.30.

bbby stock daily price chart on jan 9