3 Stocks Gapping Down After Earnings – Schaeffers Research (blog)

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U.S. stocks are moving higher on the final trading day of August, with the S&P attempting to avoid a monthly loss. Three companies making post-earnings moves this morning are bargain retailer Dollar General Corp. (NYSE:DG), tech company Ciena Corporation (NYSE:CIEN), and Greek transport name DryShips Inc. (NASDAQ:DRYS). Here’s a quick look at what’s pressuring shares of DG, CIEN, and DRYS.

Option Bulls Caught Off-Guard by DG Margin Shock

Dollar General reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings, but the stock is plummeting today as gross margin contracted by 47 basis points amid increasing price pressures within the retail sector. DG is down 6.2% at $72.01, with today’s bear gap accelerating the equity’s retreat from the $80 region — which serves as the upper rail of a trading range that’s confined DG’s movements since its August 2016 post-earnings bear gap. Support at the lower rail won’t come into play until around the $68 region.

Ahead of the quarterly report, options traders were bullish on the retail stock. DG’s Schaeffer’s put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.54 ranks higher than only 6% of other readings from the past year. This suggests short-term options players have rarely been more call-heavy in the past 12 months — and it’s safe to say those bulls were caught off-guard by today’s sell-off.

CIEN In Danger of Downgrades After Weak Forecast

Though CIEN reported better-than-expected fiscal third-quarter earnings and revenue, the shares are dropping rapidly after the networking specialist offered a fourth-quarter revenue outlook that fell considerably short of the consensus estimate. CIEN is down 11.8% at $21.40, and earlier set a new year-to-date low of $21.37.

In light of today’s negative news and the ensuing plunge in CIEN stock, downgrades are a serious risk. Currently, 12 of 14 analysts carry a “buy” or better rating, with only two sporting tepid “hold” recommendations, and zero “sells.” Any negative notes from this group could cause additional pressure on the stock.

Analysts Have Abandoned Struggling DRYS

DRYS stock reported a second-quarter loss that expanded to $15.6 million from the previous year’s $13.4 million — but with no analysts currently tracking the stock, the shipper didn’t technically fall short of consensus estimates. At last glance, DRYS is trading 11.5% lower at $2.69, extending its long-term underperformance on the charts. The embattled Greek drybulk carrier recently hit a record low of $0.98 on July 27; meanwhile, a series of controversial reverse stock splits have resulted in an adjusted annual high for DRYS of $799,680, set back on Nov. 15. 

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