Options Check-Up: General Motors, Ford Motor, and Harley-Davidson

Analyzing recent option activity on General Motors Company (GM), Ford Motor Company (F), and Harley-Davidson Inc (HOG)

Jan 27, 2015 at 8:16 AM
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Among the stocks attracting attention from options traders lately are American carmakers General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) and Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), as well as motorcycle icon Harley-Davidson Inc (NYSE:HOG) -- the latter two of which will report their earnings before the open this Thursday, Jan. 29. Below, we'll break down how option buyers are positioning themselves, and how much speculators are willing to pay for their bets on GM, F, and HOG.

  • GM has been a technical underperformer, shedding 8.3% year-over-year to land at $33.70. Sentiment in General Motors Company's options pits is nearing a bullish peak, as the stock's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 7.00 sits just one percentage point away from an annual optimistic climax. Near-term options for GM are fairly priced, per its Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 26%, which is in the 45th percentile of its annual range.

  • Shares of F are also lagging, with the ubiquitous carmaker down 4% year-over-year to rest at $15.08. Accordingly, bearish sentiment in the options pits is ramping up. Ford Motor Company's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 0.37 is in the 84th percentile of all similar readings taken over the past year, and short interest increased by 16.5% over the most recent reporting period. F's short-term options are pricing in fairly average volatility expectations, as its SVI of 24% ranks in the 47th percentile of all other annual readings.

  • On the other hand, shares of HOG are up less than 1% year-over-year to trade at $64.85. Sentiment in the options pits is bearish -- Harley-Davidson Inc's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 2.14 ranks in the 89th percentile of its annual range. HOG's short-term options are currently at middle-of-the-road prices, per its SVI of 28%, which is in the 49th percentile of its annual range.

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