Qualcomm Stock Jumps on $10 Billion Buyback News

Short-term options traders have been unusually call-skewed toward Qualcomm stock

Managing Editor
Jul 31, 2018 at 9:51 AM
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Telecom powerhouse Qualcomm, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) is soaring in early trading on news the company will begin a modified auction to buy up to $10 billion of its shares valued between $60 and $67.50, less than a week after its NXP semiconductors (NXPI) buyout deal fell through. Also, RBC hiked its price target by $1 to $73 and lifted its 2019 earnings-per-share outlook to $4.51 from $3.69 to reflect the buyback. QCOM is up 3.2% at $64.05, at last check.

From a technical standpoint, Qualcomm stock has had a volatile run the on the charts this past year, last week gapping higher following the NXPI news, with the 50-day moving average providing support in the weeks prior. With this morning's surge, the equity is trading near its year-to-date breakeven point, on pace for its highest close since early March.

Looking at options data, Qualcomm's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.57 indicates calls have been preferred over puts among options set to expire in three months or less. This ratio ranks in the low 10th percentile of its annual range, pointing to an unusual call-skew among short-term traders.

Lastly, those looking to buy near-term options on Qualcomm stock may want to consider doing so now. This is per the stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 24%, which ranks in the 22nd annual percentile. This indicates that short-term options are pricing in relatively low volatility expectations at the moment.

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