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Three names seeing notable option activity today amid developing news and/or unusual price action are online travel planner Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN), biotech issue BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX), and tech concern Tibco Software Inc. (NASDAQ:TIBX). Here's a look at how today's option traders have been placing their bets on these three names.
- Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN) has rocketed 4.1% higher to $1,246.15, and the stock's short-term options are in demand. Specifically, the equity's 30-day at-the-money (ATM) implied volatility (IV) has jumped 17.3% to 28.2%, with call volume running at almost twice the average intraday pace. The equity's weekly 5/30 1,250-strike call has garnered notable attention, with more than 1,300 contracts exchanged. It appears to be a mix of buy- and sell-to-open activity, as a healthy portion of the calls have traded on both the ask and bid sides. Plus, IV at the strike has surged 11.7 percentage points, hinting at fresh initiations. The strike has already been toppled in intraday action, with PCLN peaking at $1,256.98 earlier in the session.
- BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX) has rallied 7.8% to $9.71, thanks to an encouraging study of its hereditary angioedema treatment. If approved by regulators, the drug will be the first of its kind, and is expected to debut in the U.S. as early as 2017. Overall option volume is running at seven times the norm today, though calls are the options of choice, outpacing puts by a near 2-to-1 margin. Digging deeper, speculators have taken a shine to the June 12 call – the most active option so far. Sellers of the call are expecting BCRX to remain south of $12 through the option's lifetime, while buyers are either gambling on more short-term upside or implementing hedges for their bearish bets, as short interest represents nearly 13% of BCRX's total available float.
- Finally, Tibco Software Inc. (NASDAQ:TIBX) is 6.7% higher at $21.40, amid reports the firm could be a takeover target of Germany's SAP AG (ADR) (NYSE:SAP). As such, the security's 30-day ATM IV has shot 32.6% higher to 41.5%, reflecting the growing demand for short-term options. In fact, roughly 14,000 TIBX calls have traded thus far, representing 19 times the intraday norm. About half of the action has transpired at the June 23 call, where more than 7,100 contracts have traded -- primarily at the ask price, suggesting they were bought. Plus, IV has edged 6.5 percentage points higher at the strike, and volume has surpassed open interest, pointing to newly bought bullish bets. By purchasing the calls to open, the buyers expect TIBX to surmount $23 by the close on Friday, June 20, when front-month options expire.