Priceline Group Inc. (PCLN) Option Players Pay Up for Bullish Bets

Priceline Group Inc (PCLN) is higher -- and call options are active -- on sector M&A news

Feb 12, 2015 at 11:17 AM
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Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN) is enjoying a sector M&A rally, on news that Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE) is scooping up Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:OWW). As such, PCLN is flirting with a 2.6% gain at $1,087.81, and the stock's options are hot -- especially on the bullish side.

PCLN calls are trading at three times the typical mid-morning pace, and have outnumbered puts by a margin of almost 2-to-1. It looks like bulls are betting on the stock to climb back atop the $1,100 level by tomorrow's close, buying to open the weekly 2/13 1,100-strike call -- the most active option thus far. PCLN hasn't traded atop that round-number level since early January.

Ahead of Priceline Group Inc's (NASDAQ:PCLN) turn in the earnings confessional next Thursday morning, option traders are paying up for their short-term contracts. The equity's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) has risen to 41% -- higher than three-quarters of all other readings from the past year. Historically, the stock has enjoyed a post-earnings single-session gain in six of the past eight quarters, yet near-term traders are more put-biased than usual right now.

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