D.E. Shaw Claims 5% Stake in KODK, Sends Stock Soaring

Calls are popular in the options pits today

Assistant Editor
Sep 1, 2020 at 10:48 AM
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Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE:KODK) is soaring this morning, up 35.2% at $8.08, after D.E. Shaw revealed that it bought 3.94 million shares. The hedge fund now has a 5.2% stake in Kodak, noting that securities weren't acquired or held for the purpose of changing or influencing control of the company. 

KODK has had a volatile summer, spiking to an all-time high of $60 in late July before plummeting in August after its $765 million U.S. Government loan was paused amid a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) probe. Now, the stock is trying to reclaim its 10-day moving average, which has put pressure on KODK since an early August bear gap. Despite the recent slide, the equity is still holding onto a 62.3% year-to-date gain. 

In the options pits, puts are popular. The stock's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 2.32 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) stands higher than 90% of all other readings from the past year. This means that long puts are being picked up at a much faster-than-usual rate. 

Today, however, looks like a bit of a turnaround. So far, 36,000 calls have crossed the tape, five times what's typically seen at this point, compared to 29,000 puts. Most popular is the weekly 9/4 9-strike call, followed by the 7-strike put in the same weekly series, with positions being opened at both. 

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