Option Bulls Hope Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Accelerates on Key Developments

Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) call buyers have been busy in recent weeks

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Dec 22, 2015 at 10:22 AM

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has come up big for its customers and shareholders in recent days. Yesterday, the automaker announced that in Australia, Europe, and Hong Kong, its Model S will come equipped with Spotify streaming radio. TSLA also said it is on track to meet its 2015 delivery goal.

The upbeat news has the shares 0.5% higher this morning at $233.73. In recent sessions, option traders have been gambling on extended gains for TSLA. Specifically, the stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 1.24 across the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) ranks in the 81st percentile of its annual range. In other words, traders have displayed a stronger-than-usual appetite for long calls over puts of late.

The stock's bullish bandwagon is far from crowded, though. Eleven of 16 analysts tracking TSLA currently maintain "hold" or worse opinions. (Though Global Equities Research is a notable exception, recently waxing optimistic on a company that's been able to create "an ecosystem on loosely coupled subsystems" against competitors that are "completely clueless.")

On top of that, 27.3% of the equity's available float is sold short, represent about two weeks' worth of trading, at typical volumes. In fact, it's possible that some of these short sellers are behind the recent call-buying activity, as they may be hedging against a sharp spike in TSLA shares.

On the charts, it's been a tumultuous year for Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). The stock has lost 18.5% since its record high of $286.65 in July, but remains roughly 5% higher in 2015. Elsewhere, CEO Elon Musk watched last night as his SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched and returned in roughly 30 minutes.

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