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Deckers Outdoor Draws Call Buyers

DECK traders have purchased nearly three calls for every put during the past two weeks

by 11/30/2012 10:24 AM
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The shares of Deckers Outdoor Corp (NASDAQ:DECK - 38.76) have skyrocketed about 35% this month, and it looks like options traders are upping the bullish ante on the shoe maker. During the past two weeks, speculators on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) have bought to open nearly three calls for every put. In fact, the equity's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 2.75 ranks in the 80th percentile of its annual range, hinting at a healthier-than-usual appetite for bullish bets of late.

As a result, the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) now sits at 0.46, indicating that calls more than double puts among options expiring within three months. What's more, this ratio registers in the ninth percentile of its annual range. Or, in simpler terms, near-term options traders have rarely been more call-heavy during the past year.

In the front-month series, traders have taken a shine to the December 35 strike, where call open interest has increased by roughly 2,400 contracts during the past 10 sessions. This in-the-money strike is now home to peak call open interest, with close to 6,100 contracts in residence.

DECK December OI Changes from 10 Days Ago

However, not everyone on Wall Street is in the bulls' corner. Short interest accounts for nearly 48% of DECK's total available float, and would take about nine sessions to unwind, at the security's average pace of trading. As such, the accelerated call buying of late could be attributable to hedging activity among the shorts. By purchasing calls on DECK, the bears can lock in an agreeable repurchase price for the shorted shares, should the stock skyrocket within the calls' lifetime.

And at least one website said DECK could jump significantly, should the company garner a buyer. Specifically, Seeking Alpha suggested the UGG maker could fetch as much as $92 per share -- representing a premium of 137.4% to DECK's closing price of $38.76 on Thursday.


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