Options Check-Up: Clean Energy Fuels, SunPower, and SunEdison Inc

Analyzing recent option activity on Clean Energy Fuels Corp (CLNE), SunPower Corporation (SPWR), and SunEdison Inc (SUNE)

by Griffin Kruse

Published on Jan 9, 2015 at 8:14 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Among the stocks attracting attention from options traders lately are natural gas concern Clean Energy Fuels Corp (NASDAQ:CLNE), as well as solar energy concerns SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) and SunEdison Inc (NYSE:SUNE). Below, we'll break down how option buyers are positioning themselves, and how much speculators are willing to pay for their bets on CLNE, SPWR, and SUNE.

  • Shares of CLNE have been on the decline, with the stock shedding roughly 60.6% year-over-year to sit at $4.81, despite notching a 3% gain yesterday. In conjunction with this negative price action, bearish sentiment in Clean Energy Fuels Corp's options pits is ramping up. CLNE's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 0.46 ranks in the 81st percentile of its annual range. Short-term options for CLNE are relatively expensive at the moment, with its Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 89% ranking in the 77th percentile of all similar readings taken in the past year.

  • SPWR has also underperformed recently, losing roughly 21.7% year-over-year to fall to $25.67. Although the stock added 7.6% yesterday, it has underperformed the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by over 18 percentage points over the past three months. Surprisingly, covering analysts are staunchly bullish on the equity, with 70% rating the stock a "buy" or better and the remaining 30% doling out a "hold," leaving the door wide open for potential downgrades. Should SunPower Corporation continue to struggle, an unwinding of bullish sentiment in the analyst community could send shares even lower. The security's short-term options are historically cheap, as its SVI of 46% ranks in the 25th percentile of its annual range. And while the brokerage community remains optimistic, option buyers have picked up SPWR puts over calls at a faster-than-usual clip during the past two weeks, as the equity's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 1.11 sits 13 percentage points from an annual high.

  • On the other hand, shares of SUNE have been steadily climbing, gaining roughly 32% year-over-year to perch at $19.09. SunEdison Inc added 5.1% yesterday, after announcing it purchased new turbines in order to develop incremental wind energy projects, which it will sell to TerraForm Power Inc (NASDAQ:TERP). However, sentiment in the equity's options pits is overwhelming bearish -- SUNE's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 0.99 sits just 6 percentage points away from an annual pessimistic peak. An unwinding of this skepticism could send the shares even higher. The stock's short-term options are relatively inexpensive, as its SVI of 63% ranks in the 39th percentile of all similar readings taken over the past year.

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