Options Check-Up: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., Baidu Inc (ADR), and Himax Technologies, Inc. (ADR)

Analyzing recent option activity for AMD, BIDU, and HIMX

Alex Eppstein
Oct 22, 2014 at 8:10 AM
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Among the stocks attracting attention from options traders lately are chip maker Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE:AMD), online search giant Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU), and LCD expert Himax Technologies, Inc. (ADR) (NASDAQ:HIMX). Below, we'll break down how options buyers are positioning themselves, and how much speculators are willing to pay for their bets on AMD, BIDU, and HIMX.

  • AMD rallied 3.8% yesterday to close at $2.77, but remains 28.4% lower year-to-date. Not surprisingly, option traders have been upping the bearish ante on the stock. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.'s 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 2.42 sits just 2 percentage points shy of an annual peak. Regardless, those looking to buy AMD options will pay a fairly typical price right now, as the equity's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 72% ranks in the middling 52nd percentile of its annual range.

  • BIDU ended Tuesday 2.7% higher at $222.35, bringing its year-to-date advance to 25%. In the options pits, however, short-term speculators haven't been as put-skewed as they are currently, looking back one year. Specifically, Baidu Inc's (ADR) Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) -- which measures both buy- and sell-to-open activity -- of 1.02 outstrips all other readings from the past year. Now appears to be a good time to buy (rather than sell) premium on BIDU options expiring within three months, as the equity's SVI of 41% is lower than 62% of comparable measurements taken over the previous 12 months.

  • Finally, HIMX tumbled 7.9% yesterday to end at $8.02, and on a year-to-date basis, the stock's deficit widened to 45.5%. Nevertheless, at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX, traders have been buying to open calls over puts at a breakneck pace in recent months, per Himax Technologies, Inc.'s (ADR) 50-day call/put volume ratio of 15.69. From a pricing standpoint, the security's short-term options are quite expensive right now. HIMX's SVI of 103% rests just 2 percentage points from a 52-week high.

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