Rocket Fuel, Inc. (FUEL) Put Players Stand Pat Despite Pops

Put buying has been popular on Rocket Fuel Inc (NASDAQ:FUEL) in recent weeks

by Karee Venema

Published on May 12, 2015 at 2:15 PM

Put players have been active in Rocket Fuel Inc's (NASDAQ:FUEL) options pits in recent weeks. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.18 rests in the 64th annual percentile.

Mirroring this is FUEL's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.80, which rests just 6 percentage points from a 52-week peak. In other words, near-term traders have rarely been as put-heavy toward the security as they are now.

This skepticism is seen outside of the options pits, as well, where short interest accounts for nearly 18% of the equity's available float. Additionally, six out of seven analysts maintain a lukewarm "hold" recommendation on the shares, while FUEL's average 12-month price target of $10.56 represents a tepid 14% premium to current trading levels. Today, in fact, Citigroup lowered its price target on FUEL to $9.50 from $12.

Technically speaking, the stock has made some big moves to the upside recently. Last Friday, for example, FUEL popped 9% in the wake of an unsolicited $350 million buyout offer from Gravity4 -- a bid BMO called "low-ball." In today's session, the stock is up 8.4% at $9.28, after unveiling a new partnership with Japan-based Cyber Communications Inc.

Longer term, though, Rocket Fuel Inc (NASDAQ:FUEL) remains a technical dud. Year-to-date, specifically, the stock has surrendered 42% -- and has not traded in double-digits since late March.

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