NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA) Trader Places Huge Bet on Higher Highs

NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) just touched a seven-year high, prompting one trader to initiated a long call spread

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Oct 14, 2015 at 2:08 PM

NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) is fresh off a seven-year high of $27.78, even after Roth Capital re-assigned coverage of the stock to a new analyst, who promptly slapped it with a "neutral" rating and $26 price target. At last check, the shares have rallied 3.2% at $27.24, prompting an uptick in bullish options activity.

For starters, NVDA calls are crossing the tape at quadruple the expected intraday rate. According to Trade-Alert, one long-term speculator is initiating a 10,000-contract bull call spread at the January 2016 30- and 32-strike calls, anticipating the shares will surge to $32 by January expiration -- putting them in territory not explored since January 2008.

Not everyone's so optimistic. Buy-to-open activity is also detected at the out-of-the-money November 26 put, suggesting another set of traders thinks NVDA will breach the underfoot strike by the close on Friday, Nov. 20 -- when the back-month series expires.

Historically speaking, put buyers have been busy in recent weeks. NVDA's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.99 across the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) ranks near the top quartile of its annual range. In other words, traders have bought to open puts over calls at a faster-than-usual rate. Of course, given the stock's 36% year-to-date upswing, some of these long puts may be protective in nature.

Elsewhere, short sellers and analysts are bearish toward NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA). Almost 7% of the stock's float is sold short -- suggesting there's plenty of sideline cash available for a short-covering rally -- and 65% of analysts consider the equity a "hold" or worse, leaving room for future upgrades.

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