Earnings Preview: Opko Health Inc. (OPK)

Ahead of Opko Health Inc. (OPK) earnings tonight, options traders have been buying calls

Nov 7, 2016 at 10:47 AM
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Opko Health Inc. (NASDAQ:OPK) is preparing to step foot in the earnings confessional tonight. Ahead of the event, the stock's options are running at an accelerated clip -- especially calls, which are trading at double the expected intraday rate. Below, we'll take a closer look at how the shares have reacted to the drugmaker's previous turns in the earnings booth, and what expectations are like on Wall Street.

Historically speaking, OPK hasn't made a big move after earnings in over a year. Looking back four quarters, the average absolute swing in the session subsequent to the events has been a tame 0.5%. Interestingly, the options market is pricing in a much more substantial move of 6.8% this time around.

This isn't unusual. On the whole, Opko shares have tended to make smaller moves than the options market has priced in, when looking at data from the past year. This is specifically according to the stock's low Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) of 26.

Regardless, options traders have been placing bullish bets at a rapid-fire rate in recent weeks. Over the last 20 sessions, OPK has racked up a top-heavy call/put volume ratio of 12.68 across the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). This call-skew is echoed by the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR), which sits at an annual low of 0.57 -- with calls nearly doubling puts among options expiring in the next three months.

Of course, OPK call buyers may have mixed motives. While some may be speculating on gains for shares of the drugmaker, others may be bears in disguise. Specifically, with 21.2% of the stock's total float sold short -- which would take over four weeks to cover, at typical daily trading levels -- it's possible short sellers have been scooping up calls to function as protection.

Technically speaking, Opko Health Inc. (NASDAQ:OPK) has had an up-and-down year. Most recently, the action has been to the downside, with the shares pulling back from a near-term peak of $11.31, notched in late September. What's more, the stock has been struggling in recent months near the round $10 mark, home to heavy call open interest of more than 44,000 contracts in the front three-months' series. Today, though, OPK stock is up 0.7% at $9.85.

opko daily nov 7

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