Bulls Busy as Prothena Corporation PLC (PRTA) Explodes

Prothena Corporation PLC (PRTA) is soaring on Parkinson's drug data

Digital Content Group
Mar 20, 2015 at 10:38 AM
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Shares of Prothena Corporation PLC (NASDAQ:PRTA) are blowing up this morning, following an encouraging early stage trial on the firm's Parkinson's drug -- which was followed by a price-target hike to $50 from $40 at RBC. Meanwhile, the stock's options pits are brimming with activity -- especially on the call side, where the contracts are crossing at 18 times the usual intraday clip.

Sitting in the top spot is PRTA's April 40 call, which appears to be seeing some buy-to-open activity. By initiating these positions, speculators are expecting the underlying to extend its rally north of $40 through the close on Friday, April 17, when the soon-to-be front-month options expire.

As alluded to, PRTA -- like sector peer Biogen Idec Inc (NASDAQ:BIIB) -- is surging on the charts, up nearly 41% in early trading at $41.12. In fact, the shares have now almost doubled in value on a year-to-date basis, and are exploring territory not seen in nearly one year.

It's understandable, then, that option bulls have been flocking to the equity of late. In fact, over the last two weeks at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), 1,039 Prothena Corporation PLC's (NASDAQ:PRTA) calls have been bought to open, compared to just two puts. The resultant 10-day call/put volume ratio of 519.50 has never been greater during the past 12 months.

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