Most Active Options Update: 3D Systems Corporation and Royal Gold, Inc

Call buyers have been circling 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) and Royal Gold, Inc (NASDAQ:RGLD)

Feb 11, 2016 at 11:39 AM
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The 20 stocks listed in the table below have attracted the highest total options volume among mid-cap names during the past 10 trading days. Names highlighted are new to the list since the last time the study was run, and data is courtesy of Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White. Two names of notable interest are 3-D printing company 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) and gold miner Royal Gold, Inc (NASDAQ:RGLD).


DDD has jumped 7.8% today to $8.70 -- but is running out of steam near its 80-day moving average, a trendline not conquered on a daily closing basis since April 23 -- after the firm unveiled preliminary fourth-quarter sales that arrived above the consensus estimate. The positive price action has call volume soaring, with the contracts crossing at three times what's typically seen at this point in the day -- and outpacing puts by a 5-to-1 margin.

Today's penchant for calls is nothing new, per DDD's 50-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 5.59 -- in the 94th annual percentile. Echoing this is the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.66, which sits below 99% of all comparable readings taken in the past year. Simply stated, short-term speculators have rarely been as call-skewed toward DDD as they are now.

With 3D Systems Corporation slated to unveil its full fourth-quarter results at the end of this month, volatility expectations are on the rise -- meaning it's getting pricey to purchase premium on near-term options. Specifically, the stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 88% resides in the 80th percentile of its 52-week range, while its 30-day at-the-money (ATM) implied volatility (IV) notched a 12-month high of 94.2% earlier.

RGLD is 4.2% higher this morning at $40.66, thanks to sector-wide tailwinds for gold stocks. This is likely music to the ears of call buyers, who have been initiating long positions at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX at a rapid-fire rate in recent months.

Today, calls are changing hands at two times the average intraday rate -- and 14 times that of puts. Amid this accelerated activity, RGLD's 30-day ATM IV shot to a 52-week peak of 67.5% not long ago.

One of the most active Royal Gold, Inc strikes is the February 37.50 call. However, it looks like a number of speculators may be selling to close the in-the-money options -- which have seen one of the largest increases in open interest over the past 10 sessions -- ahead of next week's front-month expiration.

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