Options Check-Up: Plug Power Inc, FireEye Inc, and Zillow Inc

Analyzing recent option activity on Plug Power Inc, FireEye Inc, and Zillow Inc

by Elizabeth Harrow

Published on Oct 31, 2014 at 7:45 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:09 PM

Among the stocks attracting attention from options traders lately are fuel cell specialist Plug Power Inc (NASDAQ:PLUG), virtual security firm FireEye Inc (NASDAQ:FEYE), and restaurant chain Zillow Inc (NASDAQ:Z). Below, we'll break down how options buyers are positioning themselves, and how much speculators are willing to pay for their bets on PLUG, FEYE, and Z.

  • Calls have been quite popular on PLUG lately, according to data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). The stock's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio stands at 38.86 -- not far from its freshly tagged multi-year high of 43.96. Plug Power Inc has vaulted to a gain of 190% in 2014, but has been churning close to the $4.50 level for the past month (and ended Thursday squarely at $4.49). During the coming weeks, speculators are apparently banking on a continuation of this muted price trend. The stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 77% ranks in the slim 7th percentile of its annual range, as front-month options have rarely priced in lower volatility expectations.

  • FEYE sports a 10-day call/put volume ratio of 7.36 on the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX, which outranks 84% of comparable readings from the last year -- indicating a stronger-than-usual preference toward bullish bets over bearish during the past couple of weeks. This trend coincides with a bounce higher for FEYE shares, which have gained 35.6% from their Oct. 13 annual low of $24.81, ending Thursday's session at $33.63. Looking ahead, FireEye Inc is set to report third-quarter earnings after the market closes next Tuesday, Nov. 4, but front-month options are still fairly priced. The security's SVI stands at 74%, in the middling 48th annual percentile.

  • Z is also a favorite among call players, having racked up a 10-day call/put volume ratio of 1.51 on the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX. This ratio ranks higher than 88% of other such readings over the past year, pointing to a pronounced bullish skew among speculative players. Traders may be optimistic for a bounce from the century mark, as the $100 level has so far supported the stock's pullback from its July peak of $164.90. In fact, Z shares settled at $104.24 yesterday, up 27.5% year-to-date. Zillow Inc will announce its third-quarter results after the close next Wednesday, Nov. 5, but front-month options aren't exactly pricing in a major move. The stock's SVI checks in at 58%, in the tame 30th annual percentile.

A Schaeffer's exclusive

6 Sectors for Summer

Access your FREE insider report before it's too late!



NEW! Explore Schaeffer’s Partners' deals and get connected to top online brokerages with deals tailored exclusively for our readers.  Get answers to your questions regarding transfer fees, commission rates, programs and available discounts related to online trading services.

MORE | MARKETstories

The Latest Investor's Guide to Precious Metals
Learn how to protect savings and maximize returns by investing in precious metals.
Wall Street Reclaims Two Key Trendlines This Week
U.S.-China tensions and dire economic data still weigh, though
Dell Stock Jumps on Upbeat First Quarter
DELL announced an upbeat first-quarter report
The Latest Investor's Guide to Precious Metals
Learn how to protect savings and maximize returns by investing in precious metals.