Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE:AMD)
AMD's highly anticipated GPU '14 Tech Day will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 25 in Hawaii. As if tech junkies didn't have enough to be excited about, the semiconductor name announced last week that the event will feature a special product showcase, during which AMD is expected to unveil its next-generation graphics cards. The best part of all is that you don't have to be in attendance to witness the long-awaited revelation. The showcase will be webcast live from AMD's Investor Relations home page at 3 p.m. EDT on the day of the event.
So far this year, AMD has tacked on nearly 60% -- largely due to an earnings-induced jump in late April -- and has outperformed the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by almost 40 percentage points during the same time frame. More recently, however, AMD -- perched at $3.83 -- has struggled to pick itself back up after a post-earnings dive in mid-July, and has yet to reenter $4-plus territory.
Still, traders at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) have bought to open almost four AMD calls for every put during the last 10 weeks. The resultant 50-day call/put volume ratio of 3.80 ranks higher than 87% of other such readings taken over the last year, indicating calls are being picked up over puts at a much faster rate than usual.
While this action is typically executed by bullish traders, it could actually be the work of short sellers hedging their bearish bets -- short interest accounts for 22.3% of AMD's available float, which would take more than a week to cover, at the stock's average pace of trading. Or -- given Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.'s low price -- call activity may be elevated, due to the limited profit potential for long put plays.
Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO)
CSCO will hold a conference call on Thursday, Sept. 26, to discuss the next generation of networking innovations and relevant market trends. Specifically, the IT services provider will showcase products that are built on its latest nPower(TM) X1 silicon and prepped for the Internet of Everything (IoE).
With the shares up almost 25% year-to-date to trade at $24.51, CSCO has remained in the bullish spotlight on Wall Street. In the options pits, according to the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.47, calls nearly double puts among options expiring in the next three months. This ratio ranks just 10 percentage points from an annual low, conveying short-term traders have rarely been more call-heavy toward CSCO throughout the last year.
Meanwhile, the stock has received 22 "buy" or better endorsements, seven tepid "holds," and not a single "sell" or worse rating from the 29 analysts weighing in. Plus, Cisco Systems, Inc.'s average 12-month price target of $26.77 sits in annual-high territory.
KB Home (NYSE:KBH)
Amid this week's release of new and pending home sales data, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) house price index, KBH will also step up to the earnings plate. Specifically, the homebuilder is slated to report fiscal third-quarter earnings on Tuesday, Sept. 24, and analysts, on average, are calling for a per-share profit of 21 cents, which represents an expected 17-cent increase from the prior year's profit of 4 cents per share. Of note, KBH has bested analysts' bottom-line expectations in seven of the last eight sessions, with an average earnings surprise of 2 cents per share. Not to mention, while the stock has enjoyed an average uptick of 1.5% the day after the report, it has dropped roughly 1.5% the following week.
Although KBH sports a year-over-year gain of 34.5%, the stock has been on a downward trajectory since tagging its four-year high of $25.14 on May 15, falling nearly 30% to its current perch at $17.63. As such, bearish sentiment surrounds KBH in and out of the options pits.
First, short interest accounts for a whopping 23.5% of KBH's available float, which would take almost a week to cover, at the stock's average pace of trading. Second, 13 of the 16 analysts weighing in on KBH have given it a "hold" or worse rating. And, finally, the stock's ISE/CBOE/PHLX 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.78 ranks in the 74th percentile of its annual range, meaning KB Homes traders have bought to open puts over calls at an accelerated clip during the past two weeks.
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