Weekly Option Traders Circle Twitter Inc (TWTR) Amid CEO Speculation

Rumors are circulating Jack Dorsey could be named as Twitter Inc's (NYSE:TWTR) permanent CEO

Sep 30, 2015 at 3:04 PM
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It's a big day on the C-suite front, and microblogging concern Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is no exception. Specifically, rumors are circulating Jack Dorsey -- who has been serving as the company's interim CEO since June -- will take over the role in a permanent capacity. While TWTR is higher in the wake of the news -- up 2.2% at $26.16 -- the stock appears to be stalling out near its 40-day moving average, a trendline that's ushered the shares lower since late April.

In the options pits, speculators will be keeping a close eye on these developments, considering a number of new positions are being opened in the equity's weekly 10/2 series -- which expires at Friday's close. Specifically, buy-to-open activity has been detected at TWTR's weekly 10/2 27- and 27.50-strike calls, as well as the security's weekly 10/2 26- and 26.50-strike puts.

For those purchasing new call positions, the goal is for TWTR to be sitting above the strike prices at week's end. Meanwhile, those initiating long put positions are expecting the equity to close out the week south of the strikes. Regardless of where TWTR finishes on Friday, the most any option buyer stands to lose is the initial premium paid.

Widening the sentiment scope reveals option traders have been taking the bearish route on TWTR in recent months. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the stock's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.43 ranks in the 84th annual percentile.

Even more telling is TWTR's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.97, which sits just 1 percentage point from a 52-week peak. In other words, short-term speculators have rarely been as put-heavy toward the security as they are now.

It's quite a different set-up outside of the options pits, though. In fact, 11 analysts still maintain a "strong buy" recommendation toward a stock that's shed almost 48% of its value year-over-year (with not a single "sell" to be found). Should Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) resume its withstanding trajectory, a round of downgrades could pressure the shares even lower.


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