Options Check-Up: Bitauto Holdings, Ford Motor, and Plug Power Inc.

Analyzing recent option activity on Bitauto Hldg Ltd (ADR) (BITA), Ford Motor Company (F), and Plug Power Inc (PLUG)

by Griffin Kruse

Published on Jan 15, 2015 at 8:42 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Among the stocks attracting attention from options traders lately are Beijing-based Internet issue Bitauto Hldg Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:BITA), American car giant Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), and fuel cell specialist Plug Power Inc (NASDAQ:PLUG). Below, we'll break down how option buyers are positioning themselves, and how much speculators are willing to pay for their bets on BITA, F, and PLUG.

  • BITA has been a technical outperformer over the past 52 weeks, adding 84.8% to perch at $65. So far in 2015, however, the equity has shed about 7.7%, with BITA swallowing heavy losses this week after forming a triple top near the $95 level. Despite the recently negative price action, traders are favoring call options. Bitauto Hldg Ltd (ADR)'s 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 3.85 ranks just 10 percentage points away from an annual peak. Short-term options for the security are fairly inexpensive at the moment, as its Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 64% ranks in the 21st percentile of all similar readings taken in the past year.

  • Shares of F have slipped, dropping 9.5% year-over-year to settle at $15.11, including a 2.5% year-to-date drop. Surprisingly, sentiment in the stock's options pits is bullish -- Ford Motor Company's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 5.10 ranks in the 64th percentile of its annual range. If F continues to slide on the charts, an unraveling of this bullish mentality among speculators could cause the stock to fall even farther. Meanwhile, with the company's fourth-quarter earnings report coming up at the end of this month, short-term options on F have rarely been more expensive; the equity's 30-day at-the-money implied volatility of 30.3% arrives in the 96th annual percentile.

  • PLUG has also been on the decline, losing nearly 28% year-over-year to fall to a meager $2.75, while underperforming the SPX by a whopping 38 percentage points over the last three months. Accordingly, sentiment in the options pits is overwhelmingly bearish -- the equity's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 0.88 sits higher than 99% of all similar readings taken over the past year. Short-term options for Plug Power Inc are nearing bottom-of-the-barrel prices, as its SVI of 80% ranks in the 11th percentile of all similar readings taken over the past 52 weeks.
Streaming Stock Sees a Pre-Earnings Lift
Roku stock is well into overbought territory
2 Energy Stocks That Could Fizzle
Crude oil prices are flirting with YTD highs, but these stocks could dip
What to Make of Rising Analyst Buy Ratings
The percentage of "buy" ratings on SPX stocks just surpassed the 2014 peak
START YOUR DAY SMARTER.

Get Schaeffer's pre-market news bulletin every morning before the bell rings.
It's free to sign up.


Partnercenter


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


Man Who Issued 2008 Warning Urging Investors to Act Now
The time to invest is now, according to one economist.
Call Volume Surges During KNDI, BLNK Stock Rallies
Meanwhile, SCHW is in the red after a downgrade
CODI Stock Trims Early Gains After Tilray Deal
The company just sold its hemp foods unit Manitoba Harvest to weed giant Tilray
Man Who Issued 2008 Warning Urging Investors to Act Now
The time to invest is now, according to one economist.