Option Bulls Don't Expect Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) to Chill

Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) just notched a record high, and option traders want more

by Andrea Kramer

Published on Dec 2, 2015 at 10:49 AM
Updated on Jun 24, 2020 at 10:16 AM

The shares of streaming content giant Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) surged to a record high of $131.12 this morning, and were last seen flirting with a 4.6% gain at $131.08. What's more, option traders are expecting NFLX to extend its journey higher in the near term.

NFLX has already seen roughly 68,000 calls cross the tape -- twice the average intraday volume, and in the 99th percentile of its annual range. For comparison, about 42,000 NFLX puts have traded thus far, and the resulting put/call volume ratio of 0.60 stands higher than just 2% of all other readings from the past year. 

Calls expiring at Friday's close account for the nine of the 10 most active options. It looks like traders are buying to open the weekly 12/4 128- and 130-strike calls. The in-the-money 128-strike calls have traded at a volume-weighted average price (VWAP) of $2.34, meaning the buyers will profit the higher NFLX soars north of $130.34 (strike plus VWAP) by the end of the week. The VWAP of the 130-strike calls is $1.84, making at-expiration breakeven $131.84 -- in uncharted territory.

Today's appetite for bullish bets merely echoes the growing trend seen on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), where NFLX has racked up a 10-day call/put volume ratio of 1.33. This ratio stands higher than 86% of all other readings from the past 12 months, suggesting traders have bought to open calls over puts at a faster-than-usual clip during the past two weeks.

What's more, now is an opportune time to roll the dice with NFLX's short-term options. The stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 41% registers in the 18th percentile of its annual range, pointing to relatively low near-term volatility expectations. Meanwhile, the equity's Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) is perched at a lofty 99, suggesting NFLX has tended to make outsized moves on the charts during the past year, relative to what the options market has priced in.

On the charts, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) has been a powerhouse, skyrocketing roughly 167% in 2015. In fact, the equity has been the best-performing S&P 500 Index (SPX) component of the year

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