Upbeat Earnings Send Nokia Corporation (NOK) Traders Into a Frenzy

Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) is red-hot, after the company announced plans to return billions to shareholders

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Oct 29, 2015 at 10:27 AM

Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) is 9.5% higher at $7.27, after the telecom titan reported better-than-expected third-quarter results and announced plans to return $4.4 billion to shareholders, via dividends and buybacks, after completing its purchase of Alcatel Lucent SA (ADR) (NYSE:ALU). These developments have sent the stock's options pits into a tizzy, with calls changing hands at eight times the expected intraday rate -- and nearly seven times the pace of puts.

This represents a dramatic change of pace for option players. During the past 10 days across the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), NOK has racked up a put/call volume ratio of 5.69 -- with more than five puts bought to open for each call. More significantly, this ratio outstrips all other comparable readings taken in the past year, suggesting an extreme preference for bearish bets over bullish in recent weeks.

Looking to the charts, Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) remains a long-term laggard, even after accounting for this morning's bull gap. Specifically, the shares have surrendered 7.5% year-to-date. At present, NOK is knocking at the door of its 50-week moving average -- located at $7.30 -- above which it hasn't closed since early April.

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