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Call players took a keen interest in Cree, Inc. (NASDAQ:CREE - 29.23) on Thursday, as 4,622 contracts crossed the tape by the close. On an average day, the LED specialist sees fewer than 2,900 calls change hands. Meanwhile, only 463 puts were traded, representing less than one-third of the stock's typical daily put volume.
Traders focused most of their attention on CREE's September 28 call, where 3,249 contracts were exchanged. The majority of these calls traded closer to the ask price, and implied volatility ticked up 2.5 percentage points to 35.3% -- indicating that buyers were responsible for most of the volume at this strike. Plus, open interest at the September 28 call increased overnight by 1,486 contracts, confirming the addition of new positions.
Thursday's volume-weighted average price (VWAP) on the September 28 call was $0.52, which places breakeven on these bullish bets at $28.52. The shares settled yesterday at $28.01, but they've surged above $29 per share in early trading today -- which means those call options are already in the money.
CREE has gained more than 27% so far in 2012, and the stock has lately been bouncing along newfound support at its 180-day moving average. However, the shares are still sitting on a 52-week deficit of 14.7%.