Viacom, Inc. (VIAB) Option Volume Explodes as Stock Stumbles

Viacom, Inc. (VIAB) hit a four-year low earlier after its earnings report failed to impress Wall Street

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Feb 9, 2016 at 11:10 AM

Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB) is getting battered this morning, after the company's fiscal first-quarter earnings dropped 10% year-over-year and revenue missed estimates. At last check, the shares are down over 13.6% at $36.18, short-sale restricted, and fresh off a four-year low of $35.66. Meanwhile, activity has erupted in the stock's options pits.

By the numbers, 15,000 contracts have been exchanged so far, or roughly 10 times VIAB's typical intraday amount. Most active by a mile is the deep out-of-the-money March 45 call, with nearly 11,000 contracts on the tape. It's possible some of these options were sold to open -- if so, these call writers believe the stock will stay below $45 through back-month expiration, at the close on Friday, March 18.

VIAB last closed above $45 as recently as Feb. 4, when it hit an intraday peak of $46.98 after reports of an executive shake-up surfaced. However, the shares have fallen precipitously since then, down 23%. As such, delta on the call registers at a slim 0.12, meaning the options market is giving it a 12% chance of an in-the-money finish.

Earnings and technicals aside, Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB) also announced an extended deal with Snapchat today. Specifically, VIAB will be ale to sell advertising on behalf of the mobile message app.

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