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Bearish bets have emerged as the options of choice lately on Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKAM - 37.29). During the past five sessions, options players on the International Securities Exchange (ISE) and Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) have bought to open 1,454 puts on the tech stock, comfortably outstripping the 372 calls purchased during this time frame. The resulting five-day put/call volume ratio of 3.91 indicates that puts have nearly quadrupled calls over the past week.
From a slightly longer-term view, AKAM sports a cumulative 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.29 on the ISE, CBOE, and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). This ratio ranks above 90% of other such readings taken during the previous 52 weeks, indicating that speculative investors have purchased puts over calls at a faster pace just 10% of the time.
In fact, the security's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.03 registers in the 100th annual percentile, as short-term options traders are more put-heavy now than at any other time in the last year.
This negative attitude is also on display among short sellers, as the number of AKAM shares sold short surged by more than 28% over the past two reporting periods. These pessimistic plays now account for 4.5% of the equity's float.
On the charts, AKAM gapped higher on the heels of its late-October earnings report, but the stock's positive momentum fizzled near the troublesome $40 level. Despite the recent pullback from this round-number area, the shares are still sitting on a respectable year-over-year gain of 29.5%.