With all of the write-downs emerging from the woodwork of the financial sector, 1 more company joining the ranks shouldn't come as a surprise. Today, it was reported that HSBC Holdings expects to write down more than $1 billion on its portfolio of high-rise subprime U.S. mortgages, according to the Times of London. The bank is scheduled to release third-quarter results on Wednesday. On the news, HBC shares have pulled back more than 2%, and are clinging to support in the 86 region, which they have not closed a day below since March 16.
Unlike other financial concerns, HBC has yet to garner the full ire of bearish investors. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 2.23 indicates that puts more than double calls among near-term options, but this ratio falls at a very mediocre 64th percentile rank when compared to all such readings taken during the past year. Meanwhile, short interest actually declined in October, and would take a meager 2.4 days to buy back at the stock's average daily trading volume.
Wall Street is the only true naysayer in the stock's sentiment outlook. According to Zacks, 4 of the 7 analysts following HBC rate the shares a hold or worse. However, contrarian investors should not expect any upgrades from this bearish bunch, as pessimism toward an underperforming stock is to be expected. It could take a very impressive earnings report to prompt any of these analysts to upgrade their positions.