Stocks quoted in this article:
Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P - 10.45) has been attracting quite a bit of bullish attention lately, according to data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). The stock currently sports a 50-day call/put volume ratio of 2.28, confirming that calls bought to open have more than doubled puts during the past few months. This ratio is docked in the 62nd annual percentile, meaning traders have been scooping up calls over puts at an accelerated clip.
Today's session has been no exception, as approximately 18,000 calls have crossed the tape so far, nearly doubling the security's anticipated intraday volume -- and running roughly eight times higher than the number of puts traded. More than 7,500 of these bullish bets were traded at the in-the-money October 9 strike, almost all of them changing hands at the ask price, pointing to buyer-driven activity. Since today's volume exceeds current open interest levels, we can assume that new positions are being initiated here. Since these contracts were exchanged at a volume-weighted average price (VWAP) of $1.65 each, traders will need the stock to muscle north of breakeven at $10.65 (strike plus premium paid) by October expiration.
Further evidence of this preference for near-term calls over puts is denoted by P's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.43, confirming that calls more than double puts among options with a shelf life of three months or less. This ratio arrives in the 27th percentile of its annual range, conveying that short-term options players have been more call-heavy toward the stock just over one-fourth of the time during the past year.
However, it should be noted that short interest in the satellite radio darling soared by about 24% during the past month, and now accounts for a formidable 29% of P's float -- or nearly a week's worth of pent-up buying demand, at the security's average pace of trading. This raises the possibility that some of the aforementioned buy-to-open call volume could the result of hedging activity by short sellers.
Sentiment toward P is bullishly skewed among the brokerage bunch, with 13 analysts handing out "buy" or better ratings, compared to three "holds" and two "strong sell" suggestions. What's more, the stock's average 12-month price target rests at $13.53, representing a lofty premium of 28% from Thursday's closing price of $10.58.
On the technical front, P has added more than 5% during the past 52 weeks, while outperforming the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) on a relative-strength basis over the last 40 sessions. A glance at the charts shows that the stock has managed to stay atop its 120-day moving average, despite a bearish gap earlier in the month caused by news that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be launching an online streaming music service. With the stock currently perched at $10.45, today's bulls need the stock to tack on just over 2% during the next few weeks in order to realize a profit on their optimistic bets.
Here are some additional articles of interest:
Carnival Sees Bearish Attention Before Earnings
Option Idea of the Week: Brinker International