Most Active Options Update: Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA)

Option bears are targeting Tesla Motors Inc, as the stock continues to slide

by Karee Venema

Published on Dec 10, 2014 at 1:27 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

The 20 stocks listed in the table below have attracted the highest total options volume during the past 10 trading days. Names highlighted are new to the list since the last time the study was run, and data is courtesy of Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White. One name of notable interest today is electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), where option traders are rolling the dice on more downside through week's end.

Most Active Options Table

Put players have been active in Tesla Motors Inc's options pits of late. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), for example, the stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.10 rests at an annual bearish peak.

Along similar lines, TSLA's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.54 ranks in the 92nd percentile of its annual range. In other words, short-term speculators have been more put-heavy toward the stock just 8% of the time within the past year.

In today's session, puts are trading at an 11% mark-up to the average intraday pace, and per the equity's 30-day at-the-money implied volatility (IV) -- which has jumped 4.9% to 39.1% -- short-term contracts are in high demand. In fact, eight of TSLA's 10 most active options expire within the next two weeks.

Receiving the most attention from put players thus far are TSLA's weekly 12/12 205 and 210 strikes, where a collective 7,582 contracts have changed hands. A healthy portion of these traded at the ask price, IV is higher, and volume outstrips open interest, suggesting new positions are being purchased.

Technically speaking, it's been a rough month for TSLA, which is down 13.7% from its Nov. 28 close at $244.52. The equity is extending this decline today, and was last seen 2.7% lower at $211.05. Against this backdrop, delta on the lower-strike put is docked at negative 0.23, and negative 0.45 for the higher-strike put, implying a 23% and 45% chance, respectively, of an in-the-money finish at this Friday's close -- when the weekly series expires.


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