Option Bears Tear Into Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (CLNE)

Put buyers are active as Clean Energy Fuels Corp (CLNE) reels

May 4, 2015 at 12:15 PM
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Despite the lack of a clear driver, Clean Energy Fuels Corp (NASDAQ:CLNE) is sitting 6.2% lower this afternoon at $9.63. The pullback is minor relative to the stock's long-term uptrend, though -- CLNE has nearly doubled in value in 2015 -- and, as such, the security's 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) of 89 indicates an overbought status (suggesting today's drop may have been in the cards). On the options front, a number of speculators are counting on additional downside for the natural gas provider.

Diving right in, puts are crossing at six times the usual intraday rate, as traders seek an alternate way to bet bearishly after the equity was placed on the short-sale restricted list. Most active are the January 2017 5-strike and September 7 puts, with a collective 3,000-plus contracts on the tape.

Data suggests these positions are being bought to open. In other words, the LEAPS buyers anticipate CLNE will breach $5 by January 2017 options expiration, while the September-dated put purchasers see a move south of $7 for the underlying by the close on Friday, Sept. 18.

As alluded to, CLNE has been a technical titan this year -- and especially in recent weeks. In fact, during the month of April, the shares jumped 85%.

One group that's likely cheering today's pullback is short sellers. Nearly one-quarter of Clean Energy Fuels Corp's (NASDAQ:CLNE) float is dedicated to short interest, and would take more than 12 sessions to buy back, at the average daily trading volume.

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