Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (CLNE) Drop Has Option Bears Cashing In

Clean Energy Fuels Corp (NASDAQ:CLNE) is tumbling in the wake of its first-quarter results

May 12, 2015 at 10:58 AM
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Clean Energy Fuels Corp (NASDAQ:CLNE) is down 2.1% at $8.65, after unveiling earnings -- less than what the options market had anticipated. The news is likely music to the ears of put buyers, who were upping the ante ahead of last night's big announcement.

At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), CLNE's 10-day put/call volume ratio has jumped to 3.50 from 0.16 over the past two weeks. What's more, the current ratio ranks in the 95th percentile of its annual range.

Echoing this is the equity's front-month gamma-weighted Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 2.14. Simply stated, near-the-money put open interest outstrips call open interest by a more than 2-to-1 ratio among front-month options, which expire at this Friday's close.

As of last night's close, peak put open interest in the May series was found at the May 9 strike, and thanks to today's post-earnings plunge, these puts are now in the money. In fact, the May 9 put is the most active CLNE option today, and it appears a number of speculators are selling to close their positions ahead of expiration.

Technically speaking, CLNE has been a strong performer on the charts in 2015, tacking on 70%. Today's slide comes courtesy of a wider-than-expected first-quarter loss, with the company citing project delays and the recent drop in commodity prices. Citigroup is keeping the faith, though, and upped its price target for Clean Energy Fuels Corp (NASDAQ:CLNE) to $8.85 from $5.05, expressing optimism over the future of natural gas vehicles.

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