M&A Buzz Brings Option Bulls to Office Depot, Inc. (ODP)

Office Depot Inc (ODP) option bulls are active amid merger talks with Staples, Inc. (SPLS)

by Andrea Kramer

Published on Feb 3, 2015 at 10:37 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Office Depot Inc (NASDAQ:ODP) has skyrocketed 18.3% to $9.02 -- and earlier touched a six-year peak of $9.24 -- amid M&A buzz with sector peer Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS). What's more, ODP options are in high demand, especially on the call side. The stock's 30-day at-the-money implied volatility has popped 8.4% to 63%, pointing to a growing appetite for short-term bets.

ODP calls are trading at 41 times the average intraday clip, and have outpaced puts by a margin of about 2-to-1. Attracting notable attention is the now at-the-money February 9 call, where more than 10,000 contracts have traded. A healthy portion of the action appears to be buy-to-open activity, as speculators gamble on ODP to extend its climb north of $9 through the close on Friday, Feb. 20, when front-month options expire.

Today's preference for Office Depot Inc (NASDAQ:ODP) calls is more of the same for the stock. On the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), traders have bought to open 33.24 calls for every put during the past 10 weeks. In fact, this ratio stands higher than 93% of all other readings from the past year, hinting at a bigger-than-usual bullish bias of late.


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