Why Are Options Traders Blasting Tesla Stock?

Jefferies slashed the electric vehicle (EV) giant’s price target today

Despite Jefferies slashing its price target on Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) to $1,250 from $1,400 today, the security was last seen up 1.1% to trade at $915.53. TSLA is pacing for its fifth-straight daily pop, with rises of 3.7% or more seen in the last four sessions. Plus, Tesla stock has managed to add 39.2% over the past 12 months, despite falling from its Nov. 4, all-time high of $1,243.49. 

Given this recent price action, it makes sense the electric vehicle (EV) powerhouse has landed on Schaeffer’s Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White’s list of stocks that have attracted the highest options volume during the past 10 days. According to the list below, over the last two weeks 6,457,493 calls and 6,057,380 puts have been exchanged. The most popular contract over this time period was the March 900 call.

International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) data shows puts have been increasingly in popularity over the past 10 weeks. This is per Tesla stock’s 50-day put/call volume ratio that ranks 99% higher than readings from the last 12 months, indicating a much healthier-than-usual appetite for bearish bets of late. 

Circling back to analyst sentiment, brokerage firms are split on TSLA. Of the 19 analysts covering the stock, 10 call it a “hold” or worse, while nine say “buy” or better. Meanwhile, the 12-month consensus price target of $952.63 is a slim 2.7% premium to current levels.

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