Inside These Big Bullish Bets on The Wendy's Company (WEN)

Wendys Co (WEN) is burning up the charts on a flurry of fundamental developments

by Alex Eppstein

Published on May 6, 2015 at 11:35 AM

A strong showing in the earnings confessional -- which included plans to sell a number of assets -- has lifted Wendys Co (NASDAQ:WEN) to a 5% midday gain, at $10.95. This has caught the attention of at least one major options bettor.

Taking a quick step back, WEN calls are running at 26 times the usual intraday rate, and five times the pace of puts. Looking more closely, Trade-Alert indicates two sweeps totaling 3,221 contracts were bought to open -- possibly by the same individual -- just minutes into the session. These new positions express optimism WEN will topple $11 by June options expiration -- and potentially make a run at the stock's multi-year high of $11.50 from early February.

All in all, it's been a strong year for shares of the fast-food chain. Year-to-date, WEN is now sitting on a lead of more than 20%, and is on pace to end the week atop its 10-week moving average (located at $10.76) for the first time since March 20.

However, that hasn't stopped traders on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) from buying to open puts over calls. Wendys Co's (NASDAQ:WEN) 50-day put/call volume ratio across those exchanges is 0.45, which sits in the 94th annual percentile. Of course, a number of these positions may have been initiated by shareholders hedging against a pullback.

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