Micron Technology, Inc. (MU) and the $250K Wager

Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) is soaring on M&A buzz

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Oct 14, 2015 at 2:48 PM

Bloomberg's report claiming Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) is in takeover talks with SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) has the former's options pits in overdrive. Intraday call volume more than doubles the expected amount, in large part thanks to a number of huge blocks that have changed hands.

Most notably, Trade-Alert is calling attention to a 1x2 call ratio spread at the January 2016 19 and 22 strikes. Specifically, it appears one firm bought to open a 7,500-contract lot at the lower strike, and sold to open 15,000 contracts at the higher, for a net debit of $0.33 per spread. In total, the transaction cost the trader nearly $250,000 (net debit * 100 shares per contract * 7,500 contracts), in the hopes MU will reach $22 by January 2016 expiration. The aforementioned sum represents the maximum potential risk on the trade.

Looking back two weeks at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), speculators haven been far less confident. MU's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.67 rests just 12 percentage points from an annual high, suggesting traders have displayed a bigger-than-usual appetite for bearish bets over bullish of late.

Such skepticism is warranted, considering Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) was staring at a 48% year-to-date loss at yesterday's close. However, today's news has the shares up 4.5% at $18.99, and on track to close above their 20-week moving average for the first time since January.

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