Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) Milestone Splits Short-Term Option Traders

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) hit its highest perch on record earlier

by Karee Venema

Published on May 11, 2015 at 2:04 PM

It's been a standout year for Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), which has tacked on 73% since its Dec. 31 close at $341.61. This technical tenacity is in full force today, with shares of NFLX up 2.9% at $591.17, and fresh off a record high of $593.25 -- perhaps a result of a subscriber slip for DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH). This notable milestone has prompted a divide in the options pits, with some speculators eyeing a quick retreat, while others gamble on an extended rally.

Specifically, option bears appear to be initiating new long positions at the May 575 put, while option bulls look to be purchasing new positions at the May 600 call. The respective goals for the option traders is for NFLX to breach $575 or topple $600 -- and notch another all-time peak -- by Friday's close, when the series expires.

From a wider perspective, call buying has been the popular strategy toward NFLX in recent months. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the security's 50-day call/put volume ratio of 1.10 ranks higher than all comparable readings taken in the past year.

Outside of the options pits, there is still plenty of room on the equity's bullish bandwagon, though, which could create a fresh burst of buying power down the road. Although some analysts are beginning to change their tune, more than one-third of those covering the shares maintain a "hold" or "strong sell" rating. Plus, the average 12-month price target of $574.05 stands at a discount to current trading levels. In other words, the door is wide open for a round of upgrades and/or price-target hikes.

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