Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCAU) Short Sellers Cash In On Ferrari Spin-Off

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE:FCAU) is getting rocked after the company spun off the last of its Ferrari NV (NYSE:RACE) stake

by Josh Selway

Published on Jan 4, 2016 at 11:46 AM
Updated on Jan 4, 2016 at 11:46 AM

Most stocks are trading lower amid a broad-market beatdown, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE:FCAU) is certainly no exception. Shares of the automaker are off 5% at $8.14, after the company completed its spin-off of Ferrari NV (NYSE:RACE). In fact, the stock has earned a spot on the short-sale restricted list. 

It appears plenty of short sellers had already made their move before today. Over 76 million FCAU shares are sold short, or almost 9% of the stock's float. Using average daily volumes as our guide, it would take over three weeks for these bears to cover their positions. 

In the meantime, this pessimism may be spreading to FCAU's options arena. The auto stock's 50-day put/call volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) comes in at 0.67. While this reading shows that call buying remains more popular than put buying on an absolute basis, it ranks higher than 86% of all similar marks from the past year, meaning there's been a greater-than-usual interest in put buying in recent weeks. Also, given FCAU's unimpressive track record, some of the recent call buying may have been at the hands of short sellers looking for insurance

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE:FCAU) has underwhelmed on the charts recently. For instance, the shares have trailed the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by almost 8 percentage points in the past 60 sessions. 

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