Option Bulls Go All In Amid Ambarella Inc (AMBA) Bounce

Ambarella Inc (AMBA) is soaring this afternoon, and weekly option traders foresee more upside ahead

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Nov 3, 2015 at 2:24 PM

Ambarella Inc (NASDAQ:AMBA) is breaking out this afternoon, last seen 14.5% higher at $59.37, despite the absence of a clear driver -- and an ongoing sell-off in shares of this key business partner. This bullish price action has the stock's options pits in overdrive -- especially on the call side of the fence, where intraday volume triples the expected amount.

Jumping right in, AMBA's weekly 11/6 55-strike call is the most active option. According to Trade-Alert, these positions are being bought to open, as short-term speculators wager on even more end-of-week upside for the shares. However, even if AMBA retreats below $55 by this Friday's close, the buyers can rest easy knowing they've risked no more than the initial premium paid.

Today's surge in bullish betting is an aberration, historically speaking. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), AMBA has amassed a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.79 -- higher than 69% of comparable readings from the past 52 weeks. As such, the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) checks in at 1.08 -- in the top quartile of its annual range. In other words, option players are more put-skewed than usual toward AMBA, when looking at options expiring in the next three months.

On a similar note, short interest is sky high on the stock. During the last two reporting periods, short interest popped 15.7%, and currently accounts for 44.6% of AMBA's total float -- or seven days' worth of pent-up buying demand, at average volumes. In fact, some of today's gains may be fueled by short sellers covering.

While today's upside explosion is impressive, the shares have been struggling mightily since topping out at a record $129.19 in late July, sliding 54%. At the same time, though, Ambarella Inc (NASDAQ:AMBA) is on track to finish atop its 32-day moving average for the first time since Aug. 11.

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