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Option Clips: CF Industries Holdings, Priceline.com, and Panera Bread

Reviewing notable options activity on CF Industries Holdings, Inc., Priceline.com Inc, and Panera Bread Co

by 2/18/2014 1:17 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Two equities generating buzz on StockTwits today are fertilizer producer CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CF) and travel website Priceline.com Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN). Restaurateur Panera Bread Co (NASDAQ:PNRA), meanwhile, is also garnering unusual attention in the options pits. Here's a look at how traders have been aligning their speculative bets today.

  • CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CF) will unveil its fourth-quarter earnings in just a few hours. Ahead of the report, the shares of CF are down 3.1% at $224.43, on news that Dan Loeb's Third Point LLC dissolved its stake in the firm -- while scooping up shares of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY). Nevertheless, intraday call volume is running at three times the norm, with close to 5,100 contracts exchanged. In fact, the seven most active strikes are out-of-the-money calls expiring in February or May.

  • Priceline.com Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN) is up 2.2% at $1,308.04, after earlier notching a fresh all-time high of $1,313.82. The firm will report fourth-quarter earnings after the close on Thursday, and the stock's short-term options are in demand today; the equity's 30-day at-the-money (ATM) implied volatility (IV) is 2.1% higher at 35.9%. Calls are the options of choice, with about 14,000 contracts exchanged -- a 16% mark-up to PCLN's average intraday volume. Digging deeper, it looks like speculators are buying to open the February 1,300 call, where IV has spiked 24.9 percentage points.

  • Finally, ahead of its own turn in the earnings confessional tonight, Panera Bread Co (NASDAQ:PNRA) is 0.4% higher at $178.85. The security's 30-day ATM IV is 1.1% higher at 39.2%, underscoring the growing demand for near-term options. At last check, overall option volume is running at 17 times the intraday average, with puts slightly outpacing calls. Garnering notable attention is the February 175 put, which has seen IV skyrocket 27.1 percentage points. Plus, most of the puts traded on the ask side, and volume has surpassed open interest, hinting at a fresh batch of bearish bets.

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