MannKind Corporation (MNKD) Put Players See a Big Pullback

MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ:MNKD) has added 37% over the past week, but put players remain active

by Karee Venema

Published on May 19, 2015 at 3:05 PM

MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ:MNKD) is enjoying another big day, up 8% at $4.75. Since hitting an annual low of $3.46 one week ago, the shares have surged more than 37%. The volatile price action has sparked a rush of activity in the equity's options pits, with overall volume running at four times what's typically seen at this point in the day.

Diving deeper, option traders still appear skeptical of MNKD's ability to sustain this uptrend. Specifically, the stock's most active option is the August 5 put, where new positions are being purchased for a volume-weighted average price (VWAP) of $1.24. Based on this average entry price, breakeven for today's put buyers at the close on Friday, Aug. 21 -- when the series expires -- is $3.76 (strike less VWAP).

Widening the sentiment scope reveals put buyers have been active in MNKD's options pits in recent weeks. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the security's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.48 rests higher than 75% of all similar readings taken in the past year.

This pessimism is seen outside of the options pits, as well, where short interest accounts for 38.6% of the equity's available float. In fact, it would take more than a month to cover all of these shorted shares -- at MNKD's average daily pace of trading -- making it entirely possible that some of the recent rally is a result of shorts covering. Looking ahead, MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ:MNKD) is slated to host its annual shareholder meeting on Thursday.

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