Put Volume Pops as Juniper Networks, Inc. (JNPR) Drops

Juniper Networks, Inc. (JNPR) puts are trading at five times the average intraday pace

Mar 26, 2015 at 2:59 PM
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Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR) is down 1.5% this afternoon at $22.36, widening its week-to-date deficit to 5.6%. In the equity's options pits, puts are trading at five times what's typically seen at this point in the day, with a number of speculators eyeing additional downside through tomorrow's close.

Drilling down, the stock's weekly 3/27 22.50-strike put has seen the most action, with 2,497 contracts on the tape at last check -- 73% of the total put volume thus far. It appears as if speculators are buying the puts to open, betting on the stock to extend its decline south of $22.50 through 4 p.m. ET tomorrow, when the weekly series expires.

Today's accelerated put activity is just more of the same for the security. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), for example, JNPR's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.96 ranks in the 91st annual percentile. In other words, puts have been bought to open over calls with more rapidity just 9% of the time within the past year.

This skepticism toward a stock that's shed around 12% over the past 52 weeks is witnessed elsewhere on the Street, as well. Of the 25 analysts covering the shares, 18 maintain a tepid "hold" recommendation -- although it appears some are beginning to change their tune -- compared to seven which have levied a "strong buy" rating toward JNPR. Meanwhile, Juniper Networks, Inc.'s (NYSE:JNPR) average 12-month price target of $23.76 stands at a slim 6.3% premium to current trading levels.


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