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Back-Month Bears Target OmniVision Technologies

Speculators showed a healthy appetite for OVTI's June-dated put options

by 5/14/2012 10:54 AM
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Options traders on Friday bought a new batch of bearish bets on OmniVision Technologies, Inc. (OVTI - 16.81), according to data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). During the course of the session, speculators on these exchanges bought to open 2,427 puts on OVTI, along with just 163 calls. The resulting single-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 14.89 confirms a strong preference for pessimistically oriented options.

The day's crop of put buyers concentrated their efforts at OVTI's June 17 strike, which added 718 contracts to open interest over the weekend. This near-the-money put option is now home to open interest of 6,581 contracts. However, it's far from the most popular put in the back-month series. OVTI's June 19 strike carries peak put open interest of 15,143 contracts, with another hefty build-up of 13,397 contracts located at the June 20 put.

Overall, puts are far and away the most popular contracts among near-term traders. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) stands at 2.23, with puts more than doubling calls among options slated to expire within three months. This ratio registers in the 95th percentile of its annual range, indicating that short-term options players have been more put-heavy on OVTI only 5% of the time over the past year.

Looking ahead, June-dated options will have assumed front-month status by the time OVTI reports its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings after the market closes on Thursday, May 31. Analysts, on average, are looking for a profit of 22 cents per share, down substantially from the company's year-ago earnings of 66 cents per share. OVTI has surpassed Wall Street's bottom-line estimates in each of the past four quarters.

Technically speaking, OVTI is pulling back after an unsuccessful challenge of resistance at its 50-week moving average, with the stock testing its footing near the $16.50 neighborhood. However, the shares are still resting on a healthy year-to-date gain of nearly 40%.


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