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Eleventh-Hour Bulls Swarm NuPathe

PATH traders are flocking to soon-to-expire call options

by 1/17/2013 11:13 AM
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Option traders are targeting NuPathe Inc (NASDAQ:PATH - 3.03) this morning, especially on the call side of the tape. So far, the drug maker has seen nearly 2,600 of these typically bullish bets change hands -- about eight times its average intraday volume, and almost twice the number of PATH puts exchanged.

Most active has been the January 2013 5-strike call, which has seen more than 1,200 contracts traded. Eighty percent of the calls crossed at the ask price, and implied volatility has skyrocketed more than 191 percentage points, hinting at newly bought eleventh-hour bets.

By purchasing the calls to open, the buyers are expecting a significant rally for PATH by tomorrow's closing bell, when January-dated options expire. More specifically, the buyers will reap a reward if PATH topples the $5.24 level (strike plus volume-weighted average price of $0.24) -- implying expected upside of 73% to the stock's current price.

It could be the traders are gambling on FDA approval of Zecuity (formerly known as Zelrix), the company's experimental migraine patch. According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, regulators are expected to issue their ruling sometime today.

However, leading up to the anticipated FDA announcement, option traders were favoring PATH puts over their call counterparts. On the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the stock sports a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 3.07, indicating that speculators bought to open more than three PATH puts for every call during the past two weeks.

At last check, PATH has added 5.6% to wink at the $3.03 level.


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