Halliburton Company (HAL) Options Bulls Eye More Upside

Halliburton Company's (HAL) strong 2015 continues


Published on Apr 6, 2015 at 2:31 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Calls are seeing increased attention in Halliburton Company's (NYSE:HAL) options pits today, as the stock benefits from rising crude prices, adding 5.2% to trade at $46.21. With traders taking a bullish stance amid oil's gains, calls are crossing at three times the average intraday pace. Moreover, calls make up seven of HAL's 10 most active options today.

One option seeing notable attention is the in-the-money May 44 call, which it appears traders are buying to open. These speculators expect the shares to extend their gains above $44 through the close on Friday, May 15, when the series expires.

HAL's options traders have grown increasingly bullish over the past two weeks. The equity's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio has risen from 1.29 to 2.18 during that time, with the current ratio landing in the 73rd percentile of its annual range. This tells us that options traders have been buying to open HAL calls over puts at a faster-than-normal rate.

Analysts, too, have taken a bullish approach toward the security. Just last week, SocGen and Citigroup each raised its price target on the shares. Also, as it stands now, 68% of covering analysts rate HAL a "buy" or better.

The positive attention comes as Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL) picks up the pace on the charts. After a dismal second half of the year in 2014, the shares have shown considerable strength lately, tacking on 24.2% since touching an annual low of $37.21 on Dec. 16.

Daily Chart of HAL since July 2014

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