Lifelock Inc (LOCK) Takes Off on Strategic Alternative Talk

Lifelock Inc (LOCK) is one of several cybersecurity stocks making a big move today

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Aug 5, 2016 at 2:04 PM

It's been a notable day for the cybersecurity sector, with earnings sending this stock to decade highs and weighing on another. While Lifelock Inc (NYSE:LOCK) has been sinking since reporting earnings earlier this week, the shares are surging today after sources said the company has hired Evercore Partners to explore strategic alternatives. Suffice it to say, this ought to renew the hopes of bullish options traders.

At last check, LOCK has jumped over 6% to trade at $16.69, and earlier hit an annual high of $17.16. This is just what options traders have been betting on in recent months. Specifically, at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), speculators have bought to open quadruple the number of calls as puts, looking back 10 weeks. In fact, the corresponding call/put volume ratio of 4.01 ranks just 7 percentage points from an annual high.

That said, an ulterior motive may have been in the works. Because 17.5% of Lifelock Inc's (LOCK) float is sold short -- 7.6 times the stock's average daily trading volume -- it's possible short sellers have been purchasing calls to serve as upside protection. That said, unhedged shorts may be in a world of hurt this afternoon, and an unwinding of their stock positions could serve as fuel for the fire.

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