Most Active Options Update: Transocean LTD (RIG)

Although Transocean LTD hit a 19-year low earlier, option bulls are active

by Karee Venema

Published on Dec 12, 2014 at 1:43 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 oil-and-gas issue Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG), where eleventh-hour option bulls are circling.

Most Active Options Table

The sting of the recent energy sell-off has been felt throughout the sector, and component Transocean LTD is no exception. Since hitting its most recent high of $30.59 on Nov. 10 -- and being sharply rejected by its descending 32-day moving average -- RIG has surrendered 44% of its value.

Today, in fact, the shares wallowed to a fresh 19-year low of $16.57, but were last seen 0.6% higher at $17.12. Considering the equity's 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) is currently docked at 18.05 -- indicating the shares are deeply oversold -- this intraday bounce isn't too surprising. Meanwhile, amid this up-and-down price action, RIG's 30-day at-the-money implied volatility has jumped 4.7% to an annual peak of 79.8%.

In the options pits, speculators are expecting RIG to keep moving north of the $17 mark through tonight's close. Specifically, the equity's most active option is the weekly 12/12 17-strike call, where buy-to-open activity has been detected. Should the stock be sitting below the strike at 4 p.m. ET -- when the weekly series expires -- the most the speculators stand to lose is the initial cash outlay.

From a wider sentiment perspective, option bears have been quick to bet on Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG). At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), RIG's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 3.29 ranks in the 96th percentile of its annual range.

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