Option Buyers Skeptical of Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS)

Option traders see continued struggles for Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS)


Published on Jan 20, 2015 at 3:18 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Activity is picking up in Las Vegas Sands Corp.'s (NYSE:LVS) options pits today, as traders place bets on the struggling casino concern. Digging deeper, it looks like speculators have taken a mostly bearish stance toward LVS, as puts are trading at two times the normal intraday rate. Data shows possible buy-to-open activity at the February 53 strike, meaning options traders expect the security to fall below $53 by the close on Friday, Feb. 20, when the contracts expire.

Today's preference for puts over calls is just more of the same for LVS. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.85 is at an annual high, meaning short-term speculators are far more put-skewed than normal. Echoing that, the stock sports a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.47 on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). This ratio stands just 6 percentage points from an annual high, pointing to a healthier-than-usual appetite for bearish bets of late.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) has struggled on and off the charts, losing 35% of its value in the past 52 weeks. The equity was last seen 2.8% lower at $53.36, and could be due for some bearish brokerage attention. Half of the analysts following LVS maintain "strong buy" opinions, and the consensus 12-month price target of $66.78 represents expected upside of more than 25% to the equity's current perch.

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