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Call Activity Heats Up on Clean Energy Fuels

But are some of CLNE's call players skeptics in bulls' clothing?

by 1/24/2012 1:20 PM
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Call players have ganged up on Clean Energy Fuels (CLNE - 15.00) today, as nearly 6,500 of these options have crossed the tape so far, reflecting eight times the equity's expected intraday volume. Over 2,000 calls have been exchanged at the out-of-the-money February 16 strike -- more than half of them at the ask price, suggesting they were purchased. This option is currently home to open interest of just 113 contracts, making it safe to assume that new positions are being initiated in this session.

This affinity for CLNE calls seems to be business as usual for the alternative energy firm. The Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) sits at 0.34, confirming that calls almost triple puts among options expiring within three months. This ratio registers in the 15th percentile of its annual range, which means that near-term options traders have been more optimistically aligned toward the stock just 15% of the time during the past 12 months.

Furthermore, CLNE's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio checks in at 7.01, indicating that calls bought to open have outnumbered puts by just over seven to one during the past two weeks. This ratio ranks in the 58th annual percentile, conveying that speculators are buying bullish options over bearish at a slightly accelerated pace.

Meanwhile, short interest on CLNE edged down by 2.09% during the past two reporting periods. However, these bearish bets still account for a hefty 24.05% of the equity's float -- or more than 17 days' worth of pent-up buying pressure. This implies that some of the recent call volume may be the result of hedging activity by short sellers.

On the technical front, CLNE is up more than 20% so far this month, and has bested the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by approximately 16% during the past 60 sessions. A look at the charts shows that the stock is on pace to close a second consecutive week atop its 50-week moving average, which had served as resistance for almost all of 2011.

At last look, CLNE is up about 5% to wink at the $15.00 level.


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