Transocean Ltd. (RIG) Options Traders Keep the Faith

Transocean LTD (RIG) calls are trading at an accelerated clip

by Karee Venema

Published on Feb 11, 2015 at 3:10 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG) is tracking crude oil lower today, down 4.3% to trade at $18.35. In spite of this, calls are trading at a faster-than-usual clip, and are easily outpacing their put counterparts.

Most active is RIG's February 19.50 call, and according to data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), a portion of the activity is of the buy-to-open kind. In other words, speculators are gambling on RIG to be sitting north of $19.50 at next Friday's close, when the front-month contracts expire.

Widening the sentiment scope reveals traders have given priority to puts over calls among options set to expire in three months or less. Specifically, RIG's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 3.58 ranks in the 94th annual percentile, meaning short-term speculators have rarely been as put-skewed as they are now.

Outside of the options pits, sentiment is tilted toward the skeptical side -- which isn't surprising, considering Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG) has surrendered more than 57% of its value on a year-over-year basis. Short interest, for example, accounts for more 31% of the stock's float. Plus, each of the 15 covering analysts maintains a "hold" or worse recommendation on RIG.

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