Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc (LL) Settlement Sends Stock, Calls Surging

Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc (NYSE:LL) reached a settlement with California regulators, sparking accelerated options trading

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Mar 22, 2016 at 2:51 PM

Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc (NYSE:LL) is exploding today -- as are its options pits -- after the firm reached a $2.5 million settlement with California regulators related to the safety of its laminate flooring products. While the rally probably has Kase Capital's Whitney Tilson and other shorts kicking rocks, it's got options traders eyeing short-term upside.

Diving right in, LL calls are changing hands at seven times the average intraday rate, and 10 times the pace of puts. The most active option is the weekly 3/24 13.50-strike call. It looks like traders are buying to open this now in-the-money call, expecting the stock to extend its burst through Thursday's close, when the series expires.

Short-term option traders are no strangers to calls. LL's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) rests at 0.87, with calls outstripping puts among options expiring in the next three months. More significantly, this is the lowest SOIR recorded in the past year, indicating the skew toward short-term calls over puts has never been greater.

As alluded to, short sellers may be getting burned on LL's dramatic move higher. During the latest reporting period, short interest rose 9.7%, and now accounts for 37.5% of the stock's total float.

And can you blame them? Heading into today's session, Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc (NYSE:LL) was staring at a nearly 31% deficit in 2016. At last check, however, the stock has jumped 15% to trade at $13.82, and is testing resistance at its 100-day moving average -- which rejected a rally earlier this month.

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