Why Options Buyers Should Consider Facebook Inc (FB)

Facebook Inc's (NASDAQ:FB) near-term options are pricing in low volatility expectations at the moment

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Aug 15, 2016 at 11:39 AM
Updated on Jun 24, 2020 at 10:16 AM

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is down 0.5% at $124.27, as traders digest multiple moves by hedge funds. While Daniel Loeb's Third Point reported a new stake, Appaloosa Management said it dissolved its stake in FB, and Omega Advisors unveiled a 29.8% cut to its position in the stock. Still, FB has been on a tear this year, adding 19% and hitting an earnings-induced record high of $128.33 in late July. Plus, today's dip won't likely put a dent in the generally upbeat sentiment toward FB, especially since it remains an attractive time for options buyers to get in on FB's longer-term rally.

To say analysts are in FB's bullish corner may be an understatement, considering 94% of the brokerage firms tracking the stock recommend buying it, and not one recommends selling. Plus, the average 12-month price target of $153.98 sits well into all-time-high territory.

Meanwhile, bearish bettors have been throwing in the towel, as short interest on the equity dropped nearly 12% during the most recent two-week reporting period. Short interest now represents less than 1% of FB's total float.

Options traders have been relatively upbeat, as well, buying to open FB calls at twice the rate of puts over the last 10 days at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). Plus, the resultant call/put volume ratio of 2.00 rests higher than 79% of all readings in the last 12 months.

And for speculative players looking to get in on the action, FB's near-term options are presenting an appealing buying opportunity, with premium pricing in historically low volatility expectations at the moment. Specifically, the stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 16% is seated in the low 5th percentile of its annual range, while its 30-day at-the-money implied volatility hit a 12-month low on Friday, and is now in just the 1st annual percentile, at 17%.

Over the long term, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has been climbing the charts fairly steadily for the last three years. The shares currently sit just 3% shy of their recent record peak, and seem to have found a foothold above the $122 level.

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