Helios and Matheson Analytics Stock Jumps On MoviePass Update

HMNY shares have tripled over the past six months

Jan 9, 2018 at 10:13 AM
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IT stock Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc (NASDAQ:HMNY) is trading up 3.3% today at $7.15, thanks to news that the company's MoviePass service has surpassed 1.5 million subscribers. According to Reuters, the service had only 20,000 back in mid-August. This is just the latest outsized move in what's been a volatile year for HMNY shares.

Looking all the way back to last May, the equity jumped after acquiring the license for IsItYou's facial recognition technology, though it quickly gave back most those gains. Then in September the shares began to rally once again, eventually trading as high as $38.86 in October -- even as Citron Research warned investors about the stock. A month later HMNY was trading below $14.

Overall, Helios and Matheson Analytics has nearly tripled in value over the past six months, and data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) suggests options traders may be betting on even more upside. For example, nearly nine call options have been bought to open for every put during the past 10 days across the exchanges -- though volume has been light on an absolute basis.

Looking closer, the January 2018 7.50-strike call saw the largest increase in open interest during this time span. Those who bought to open the options were hoping to see HMNY shares rise above $7.50 by the close on Friday, Jan. 19, when the contracts expire. The security's intraday high so far today is $7.49.

Some of this interest in call options could be short sellers looking to hedge against an unexpected upside move. Short interest on the stock has been surging since late 2016, including a 19.1% increase in the last reporting period. The 3.73 million shares now sold short is a record high.


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