Put Buyers Make Their Way to Salesforce.com, inc. (CRM)

Salesforce.com, inc. (CRM) will hold a conference call at 3 p.m. ET


Published on Apr 16, 2015 at 2:44 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

With just a few minutes to go until a 3 p.m. ET company conference call, Salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM) is sitting on a 1.1% lead at $67.96 -- bringing its year-to-date gain to 14.6%. However, a significant amount of activity in the stock's options pits is tilted in a bearish direction.

At last check, the cloud concern's puts were crossing at 1.2 times the expected intraday rate. Seeing buy-to-open action is CRM's near-the-money April 67.50 put, as traders express confidence the shares will drop below the strike by tomorrow's close, when front-month options expire.

Longer term, however, option speculators have preferred long CRM calls over puts. The stock's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 2.38 ranks in the 85th percentile of its annual range. In other words, traders have bought to open calls over puts at an accelerated clip recently.

Likewise, analysts are optimistic toward the outperformer. In fact, 25 of 30 brokerage firms have assigned the shares a "buy" or better rating, versus four "holds" and just one "sell." Similarly, CRM's average 12-month price target of $75.57 stands in uncharted territory.

That's not to say everyone's bullish toward Salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM). Nearly 27 million shares are sold short, which would take more than six sessions to repurchase, at the stock's typical trading volume. If the security can extend its momentum, it could benefit from a short-covering rally.

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