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Yingli Green Energy Hold. Co. Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:YGE) has been moving steadily higher in 2014, with the shares up roughly 20%. The upward trajectory hasn't gone unnoticed by option players, who have been stockpiling long calls of late. During the past five sessions, specifically, speculators at the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) have bought to open 1,773 calls, compared to just 17 puts, resulting in a staggering call/put volume ratio of 104.29.
Including data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE) and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) -- and expanding the time frame to two weeks -- uncovers a similarly bullish stance. In fact, the stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio has soared to 54.07 from its Jan. 31 reading of 5.81. Additionally, the current ratio ranks in the 82nd percentile of its annual range, meaning calls have been bought to open over puts at an accelerated clip in recent weeks.
Looking at the front-month series of options, which expires at next Friday's close, reveals a fondness for YGE's February 7 call. This strike holds peak call open interest of 8,976 in the February series, and since Jan. 13, 6,588 contracts have been initiated here -- the majority of which were bought to open. In order for these calls to move into the money, YGE needs to rise 14.4% from its current perch at $6.07.
However, there could be an ulterior motive behind a portion of this recent activity. With short interest accounting for 21.8% of the stock's available float, some of the call buying at the deep out-of-the money strike could be at the hands of short sellers hedging against any additional near-term gains.
Regardless of the motive, those purchasing the February 7 calls in recent weeks can rest easy knowing they placed these bets at a bargain. Specifically, YGE's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) has been hovering in the low-end of its annual range since Jan. 14, and the current reading of 79% arrives below 93% of similar readings taken in the past 12 months. In other words, premium on YGE's front-month options is inexpensive at the moment, from a volatility perspective.
In today's session, YGE is continuing with its upward momentum, perhaps due this morning's bullish brokerage note for sector peer SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR). Heading into the final hour of the session, Yingli Green Energy Hold. Co. Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:YGE) was sitting on a 2.7% advance.