Among the parade of equites to post all-time highs so far in May, Seagate Technology, Inc. (STX - 32.00) has also enjoyed an impressive upswing on the charts. The shares skyrocketed 91.3% in 2012, and surged more than 87.8% over the past 52 weeks. In fact, STX has outpaced the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by nearly 25% during the past two months. The stock leapt to its record high of $32.55 on May 1, and is currently attempting to find a foothold in the $31-$32 region.
Despite STX's longer-term uptrend, pessimism is rife in the options pits. During the past two weeks, speculators on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) have bought to open 0.54 put for every call. This ratio arrives in the 82nd percentile of its annual range, signaling that speculators on these exchanges have purchased bearish bets over bullish at a much faster clip than usual over the past couple of weeks.
Elsewhere on the Street, it seems that the bearish bandwagon is growing more crowded. Specifically, short interest swelled by 56.8% over the past month, and these bearish bets now account for 3.2% of the equity's float.
Analysts hold this outperformer in a negative light, as well. The average 12-month price target sits at $33.97, which represents a slim 6% premium to today's intraday peak of $32. What's more, brokerages are split toward STX, as there are nine "strong buys," compared to seven middling "holds," and two "sell" recommendations.
Should STX extend its run into new-high territory, a turnaround from bearish analysts or options bears, or a short-squeeze situation, could translate into a contrarian boon for the tech company.
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