Traders Bet Bullishly as Monster Beverage Corporation (MNST) Touches Record High

A new all-time high has Monster Beverage Corp (MNST) options traders betting bullishly

by Josh Selway

Published on Apr 27, 2015 at 1:54 PM

Monster Beverage Corp (NASDAQ:MNST) hit an all-time high of $144.69 earlier, and was last seen 1.3% higher at $143.65. In the stock's options pits, call volume is running at twice the normal intraday levels, and the contracts outpace puts by a three-to-one margin. The most popular option is the weekly 5/1 143-strike call, which it seems traders are buying to open. By doing so, they're betting on the shares to extend their gains beyond $143 by the time the options expire at the close this Friday. Also, it looks like some traders are buying to open the January 2016 170-strike call, expecting MNST to rally over 18% -- and into record-high territory -- by the series' expiration.

The focus on calls is out of character for MNST's options traders. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) stands at 1.20, meaning put open interest outweighs call open interest among options expiring in three months or less. What's more, this ratio ranks higher than 94% of all readings from the past year, pointing to a stronger-than-usual preference for short-term puts over calls.

On the charts, Monster Beverage Corp (NASDAQ:MNST) has been nothing short of phenomenal. Over the past 52 weeks, the shares have more than doubled in value, and during the past three months, have outperformed the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by 12 percentage points. However, eight of the 14 analysts tracking the stock still consider it only a "hold." If MNST can continue its pursuit of higher highs, a round of analyst upgrades could ensue.


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