Eleventh-Hour Option Bulls Place Bets On Alphabet Inc (GOOGL)

Regulators are looking into a crash involving one of Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL) self-driving cars

Mar 10, 2016 at 3:26 PM
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Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is facing a government investigation into a recent car crash involving one of its self-driving vehicles. Specifically, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking for a "more detailed exploration of what exactly happened." Despite this setback, GOOGL stock -- and option bulls -- are undeterred.

At last check, the shares have gained 0.9% to trade at $732.18, continuing a recent bounce off their 160-day moving average. Meanwhile, GOOGL options are crossing the tape at 1.2 times the usual intraday rate, with calls outstripping puts. Among the most active is the weekly 3/11 730-strike call, where traders are purchasing new positions in the hopes of an extended rally through tomorrow's close, when the series expires.

These short-term speculators are far from the only ones bullish toward GOOGL. A look at the brokerage crowd reveals 32 of 34 covering analysts consider the stock worthy of a "buy" or better rating, with not a single "sell" opinion on the books. Also, the consensus 12-month price target of $925.29 stands in all-time-high territory -- and represents a hefty 26% premium to current levels.

Meanwhile, short sellers have been in cover mode. During the most recent reporting period, short interest on Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) dropped almost 11%. Currently, roughly 1% of the stock's float is sold short, and would take not even two sessions to cover, at typical trading volumes.

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