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Put Volume Ramps Up on OmniVision, Despite Technical Prowess

Speculators scoop up OVTI's June-dated puts

by 4/2/2012 3:07 PM
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Put players have pounced on OmniVision Technologies, Inc. (OVTI - 20.88) today, as more than 9,100 of these options have changed hands so far, which is more than double the equity's expected intraday volume. At least 2,500 puts have crossed at the out-of-the-money June 16 strike -- most of them at the ask price, pointing to buyer-driven activity. However, this option currently holds peak put open interest of 11,318 contracts, making it unclear as to whether new positions are being opened here today.

This preference for puts over calls is business as usual for OVTI. The equity sports a Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.78, confirming that puts almost double calls among options scheduled to expire in three months. In fact, this ratio arrives in the 97th percentile of its annual range, which means that near-term options players have been more bearishly aligned toward the stock just 3% of the time during the past year.

This pessimistic slant toward OVTI is further cemented by the fact that short interest on the image sensor developer spiked by 17% during the most recent reporting period. These bearish bets now make up roughly 11% of equity's available float.

On the technical front, however, OVTI has added an impressive 71% so far in 2012, and has outpaced the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by nearly 45% during the last 60 days. A glance at the charts shows that the stock is hovering just above its 50-week moving average -- a trendline it has not surmounted, on a weekly closing basis, since late July.

At last look, OVTI is ahead by 4.4% to trade at $20.88.


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