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First Solar Option Traders Impressed By Analyst-Induced Surge

FSLR's 1/25 32-strike call is seeing buy-to-open activity today

by 1/22/2013 2:26 PM
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First Solar, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:FSLR - 31.40) more than 4% pop today has optimistic option players betting on additional gains in the near term. FSLR's 1/25 32-strike call has emerged as one of the more popular positions, with around 1,200 positions traded here so far. The majority of these have crossed at the ask price, implied volatility was last seen higher, and volume is outstripping open interest, hinting at buy-to-open activity.

In order for these out-of-the-money calls to be profitable, FSLR needs to add 2.6% by week's end (when these short-term options expire) to land above breakeven at $32.22 (strike price plus the volume-weighted average price [VWAP] of $0.22). The current delta for this strike is 31%, implying a nearly 1-in-3 chance this call will finish in the money at Friday's close.

As mentioned, the stock is on the up-and-up today, following an early morning price-target hike from Jefferies. However, today's positive price action is just more of the same for a stock that's gained around 60% since hitting an early October low of $19.68, and outpaced the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by 22 percentage points throughout the past three months.

Going forward, this overachieving equity could be poised to encounter some additional brokerage-related tailwinds, with no fewer than 20 covering analysts maintaining a "hold" or worse recommendation toward the stock (versus just three "strong buys"). Additionally, the consensus 12-month price target of $24.25 represents a steep 22.8% discount to FSLR's current price.

Heading into the final hours of today's session, FSLR was seen lingering near $31.40.


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