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Option Clips: Safeway, BioMarin Pharmaceutical, and Micron Technology

Reviewing notable options activity on Safeway Inc., BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc., and Micron Technology, Inc.

by 2/20/2014 2:54 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Two equities generating buzz on StockTwits today are grocery concern Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY) and drug maker BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ:BMRN). Semiconductor concern Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU), meanwhile, is also garnering unusual attention in the options pits. Here's a look at how traders have been aligning their speculative bets today.

  • Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY) is 3% higher at $35.65, after the firm announced fourth-quarter earnings and said it's considering putting up the proverbial "for sale" sign. Against this backdrop, overall option volume is elevated; roughly 26,000 calls and 16,000 puts have traded thus far, compared to the stock's average intraday volume of about 5,500 calls and 1,400 puts. Digging deeper, it appears some traders are taking profits by selling to close their March 35 calls, while others are establishing fresh bullish bets by buying to open the March 37 calls.

  • BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ:BMRN) has advanced 5% to $80.17, after its newly FDA-approved drug VIMIZIM received a positive opinion from the European Medicines Agency's (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP). Option players, meanwhile, are gambling on even more upside for the stock. Intraday call volume is running at seven times the normal rate, with one speculator buying to open a block of 2,000 April 90 calls. By purchasing the calls to open, the buyer expects BMRN to surmount $90 -- which would mark a record high -- by options expiration on Thursday, April 17.

  • Finally, Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) was last seen 0.2% higher at $25.47, just a hair's breadth from its near-12-year peak of $25.68, tagged yesterday. As such, the stock has seen roughly 87,000 calls change hands -- a 49% mark-up to its average intraday volume, and more than twice the number of puts exchanged. Upon closer inspection, it appears one trader may be upping the bullish ante, selling to close February 24 calls and buying to open March 25 calls.

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