Intel Stock Dips Amid Broadcom Buyout Speculation

Options traders have been extremely call-heavy towards INTC in recent weeks

Managing Editor
Mar 12, 2018 at 10:20 AM
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Shares of semiconductor concern Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) are slightly lower following a Wall Street Journal report suggesting the company is considering making an offer to buy Broadcom (AVGO), providing yet another twist in the latter firm's pursuit of Qualcomm (QCOM). Intel responded with a statement downplaying the M&A buzz, saying it's instead focused on integrating its previous acquisitions, like last year's purchase of Mobileye.

Coming into today, Intel stock has had a strong year, picking up 42% over the past 12 months, and touching a 17-year high of $52.30 on Friday. Yet shares of INTC were down 2% at $51.16 at last check. 

In the options pits, traders have been overwhelmingly optimistic towards Intel stock, with data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) showing a 10-day call/put volume ratio of 4.60, which ranks in the 99th annual percentile. This suggests calls have been purchased over puts at a much faster-than-usual clip over the past two weeks.

One contract in particular that saw heavy attention during this time was the April 57.50 call, where nearly 22,000 positions were added. Anyone buying to open this option is expecting another strong move higher from the blue chip over the next month or so.

Finally, while most analysts already have "buy" recommendations in place for the security, there's still potential for additional upgrades from this group. For example, eight brokerage firms maintain "hold" or worse ratings, and the average 12-month price target is just $53.03.

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