Stocks quoted in this article:
Despite spending the past couple of months downtrending beneath its 10-day and 20-day moving averages, shoemaker Crocs, Inc. (NASDAQ:CROX - 15.86) was targeted by option bulls on Tuesday. By the closing bell, the equity had seen 2,700 calls cross the tape -- more than three times its average daily call volume. On the flip side, fewer than 200 CROX puts changed hands.
Jumping right in... Nearly all of the action centered on the near-the-money August 16 call, which saw close to 2,100 contracts exchanged. Eighty-two percent of the back-month calls crossed at the ask price, and call open interest at the August 16 strike skyrocketed over the holiday, pointing to buy-to-open activity. By purchasing the calls to open, the buyers are betting on CROX to surmount the $16 area -- home to both of the aforementioned trendlines -- within the next several weeks.
However, Tuesday's affinity for calls marks a change of pace for CROX's short-term options crowd. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.58 ranks in the 65th percentile of its annual range. In other words, near-term options traders are currently more put-heavy than usual on the plastic-shoe prince.
In the same skeptical vein, short interest edged 4.4% higher during the past month, and now accounts for a healthy 8.3% of the stock's total available float. In fact, at CROX's average daily trading volume, it would take about a week to buy back all of these bearish bets. However, unless the security can flex some muscle either on or off the charts, I wouldn't expect too many skeptics to abandon ship just yet.