Kohl’s Stock Erases Premarket Losses Despite Pulled Forecast

CEO Michelle Gass’ departure and macroeconomic headwinds weighed on results

Kohl’s Corporation (NYSE:KSS) pulled its annual sales and profit forecast earlier, citing CEO Michelle Gass’ departure as well as macroeconomic headwinds. While the retailer’s third-quarter earnings were better than anticipated, the company also reported a revenue miss, as lower-income shoppers grapple with inflation. 

Nevertheless, KSS erased premarket losses, last seen up 4.5% at $31.13. The shares shares are still firmly below the 140-day moving average, though, which has acted as a ceiling since early May, and has contributed to the stock’s 45.3% year-over-year deficit.  

Analysts are bearish on Kohl’s stock, with eight of the 11 in question calling it a “hold” or worse. Short sellers echo that pessimism, with short interest up 12.7% over the last two reporting periods. The 15.54 million shares sold short currently account for 13.5% of the equity’s available float.

In the options pits, Kohl’s stock’s 10-day put/call volume ratio of 3.48 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) sits higher than all annual readings, implying a fierce appetite for puts of late.

Drilling down to today’s options activity, 14,000 puts and 4,798 calls have crossed the tape, or seven times the average intraday volume. Most popular is the November 25 put, followed by the 28.50 put in that same monthly series, with new positions being opened at the latter.

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