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Green Mountain Option Players Predict a Short-Term Stumble

GMCR's Dec. 7 35-strike put is catching the eye of bears today

by 11/30/2012 12:35 PM
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With Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR - 35.92) weekly November options series effectively expiring at 4:00 p.m. ET this afternoon, short-term bears have turned their attention to the stock's Dec. 7 series. Specifically, GMCR's weekly 35-strike put is seeing a glut of activity in today's trading. The majority of the roughly 1,700 contracts have crossed at the ask price, implied volatility was last seen 2.6 percentage points higher, and volume is easily outstripping open interest -- all signs that new positions are being initiated here.

By buying these puts to open, traders will profit with each step below $34.36 (the strike minus the volume-weighted average price [VWAP] of $0.64) GMCR takes through next Friday, when these options expire. This is a roughly 4.3% drop from current levels.

Expanding the scope, it seems option players have preferred puts over calls on GMCR for some time. The stock's 50-day International Securities Exchange (ISE)/Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE)/NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 0.97 ranks higher than 71% of other such readings taken over the last year. In other words, bearish bets have been scooped up over bullish at a faster-than-usual pace in recent months.

GMCR's technical troubles have been well-documented on the Street. The shares have lost more than 32% of their value on a year-over-year basis, giving around 20% back in 2012 alone. The equity was able to recover 27.3% earlier this week after reporting better-than-expected earnings, but GMCR is still on pace to finish a seventh straight month below its 40-month moving average. This trendline previously supported pullbacks in the stock in November 2011 and April of this year.

The stock is struggling in today's session, and was last seen 1.2% lower, hovering near the $35.92 mark. Given GMCR's Relative Strength Index (RSI) of 81 is sitting solidly in overbought territory, this pullback isn't too surprising.


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