Speculators Pounce on Surging Amira Nature Foods Ltd (ANFI) After Filing

Amira Nature Foods Ltd (NYSE:ANFI) is now set to close above a key technical level for the first time in months

by Josh Selway

Published on Jan 25, 2016 at 2:33 PM
Updated on Jan 25, 2016 at 2:36 PM

Options volume has exploded on Indian rice concern Amira Nature Foods Ltd (NYSE:ANFI), after the company finally submitted its Form 20-F after missing an earlier deadline. Both calls and puts are trading at five times the average intraday pace. The most popular strike is the February 10 call, with data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE) confirming some buy-to-close activity on the now in-the-money option. 

Close behind is the March 12.50 call, and some speculators may be buying to open positions -- betting on ANFI to topple $12.50 for the first time since late July. The shares will have until the contracts expire -- at the close on Friday, March 18 -- to hit this level. Delta on the strike has jumped from 27% as of Friday's close to 42% today, indicating an increased likelihood of the options expiring in the money. 

If traders are undertaking bullish positions on ANFI today, it'd mark a rare phenomenon. According to data from the ISE, Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), 9.90 puts have been bought to open for every call during the past two weeks. This 10-day put/call volume ratio outranks all but 1% of readings taken in the past year, pointing to a highly pronounced interest in long ANFI puts recently. However, given ANFI's recent outperformance -- it's beat out the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by almost 70 percentage points in the past three months -- some of these put players could be shareholders looking to insure their paper profits

But that certainly doesn't mean there aren't ANFI skeptics. In fact, close to 20% of the food stock's float is sold short. What's more, it would take these bears almost two weeks to buy back their bets, going by average daily trading volumes. 

As alluded to, Amira Nature Foods Ltd (NYSE:ANFI) has shot higher today after the company's delayed filing. The stock was last seen sporting a 26.9% lead at $10.53, and on pace to close above its 320-day moving average -- a level that blocked its two previous breakout attempts -- for the first time since July 23. 

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