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How Far Can RadioShack Fall?

Option bears bet on a continued downtrend for struggling RSH shares

by 9/13/2012 11:05 AM
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Put volume has revved up lately on electronics retailer RadioShack Corporation (NYSE:RSH - 2.78). On Wednesday alone, 3,225 puts changed hands on RSH, representing roughly double the stock's average daily volume. Meanwhile, just 196 calls were traded during the course of the session.

The most active strike was the January 2013 2-strike put, where 3,129 contracts crossed the tape. The majority of these puts traded near the ask, suggesting they were purchased, and open interest at this strike rose overnight by 2,416 contracts. Based on the volume-weighted average price (VWAP) of $0.34, these put buyers need RSH to drop below $1.66 before they'll start to see profits on their bearish plays.

RSH weekly price chartThat breakeven point isn't too far from the stock's current price, with RSH settling Wednesday at $2.77. The shares remain pinned below resistance at their 10-week moving average, which has guided the stock steadily lower since November 2011.

From a broader view, RSH has garnered a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 3.84 on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). This ratio ranks above 94% of comparable readings over the past year, revealing a near-peak of bearishly slanted speculation. Given the stock's 52-week slide of 77.4%, this negative attitude seems about right.


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