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Long-Term Call Buyers Converge on Corinthian Colleges

Options traders have shown an affinity for COCO's February 2 call

by 11/21/2011 12:59 PM
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Education issue Corinthian Colleges, Inc. (COCO - 2.55) has retreated in step with the broader equities market today, steepening its year-to-date slide of more than 49%. Nevertheless, it appears a slew of options traders are betting on a long-term uptrend for the security.

Around midday, the equity has seen roughly 4,100 calls cross the tape -- already about five times its average daily call volume, and close to 16 times the number of COCO calls exchanged. Digging deeper, most of the action has centered on the February 2 call, which has accounted for more than 3,000 of the contracts traded. What's more, with fewer than 250 contracts currently docked at the strike, and with nearly all of the volume trading at the ask price, it looks like option bulls are buying the calls to open.

From a broader sentiment standpoint, today's affinity for long calls runs counter to the growing trend seen on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). In fact, the stock's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 0.25 stands just 13 percentage points from an annual peak, revealing a healthier-than-usual appetite for bearish bets over bullish during the past couple of weeks.

Echoing that trend, the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) sits at 0.78, in the 73rd percentile of its annual range. In other words, short-term options speculators are currently more put-heavy than usual on COCO.

At last look, the shares of COCO have surrendered 4.1% to explore the $2.55 vicinity.


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