Seadrill Limited (SDRL) Call Players Make a Rare Appearance

Seadrill Ltd's (NYSE:SDRL) May 13 call is in focus today

Apr 17, 2015 at 2:44 PM
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Seadrill Ltd (NYSE:SDRL) is following in the path of the broader equities market -- off 2% at $12.02 -- on news North Atlantic Drilling Ltd. (NYSE:NADL), of which SDRL owns a majority stake, has once again delayed a cooperation deal with Russia-based Rosneft. Today's sell-off hasn't fazed options traders, though, who are scooping up SDRL calls at 1.3 times the average intraday pace.

Most active by a mile is the equity's May 13 call, and signs suggest new positions are being purchased. By initiating the long calls, speculators expect SDRL to rally above $13 through the close on Friday, May 15 -- when the soon-to-be front-month options expire. Delta on the call is docked at 0.32, suggesting a less than 1-in-3 shot of an in-the-money finish.

Today's accelerated call activity marks a change of pace in SDRL's options pits. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the equity's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 1.42 ranks in the 74th annual percentile.

What's more, SDRL's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.49 rests higher than 94% of all similar readings taken in the past 12 months. Simply stated, short-term speculators have been more put-heavy toward the stock just 6% of the time during the last year.

Looking at the charts, SDRL has been a long-term laggard, down roughly 64% year-over-year. However, the stock has been making some technical amends since bottoming at a six-year low of $8.58 in mid-March, and today's pullback seems to have found a foothold atop Seadrill Ltd's (NYSE:SDRL) year-to-date breakeven mark.

Daily Chart of SDRL Since April 2014 With Year-to-Date Breakeven

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