Twitter Inc (TWTR) Calls Hot as Buyout Buzz Builds

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) call volume is soaring, as buyout rumors continue to swirl

by Karee Venema

Published on Jun 14, 2016 at 2:38 PM

Shares of Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) are flying higher yet again, as speculation continues to swirl that the social media firm could be the next takeover target -- with some floating around the possibility of a bid from Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL). With TWTR stock up 3.6% at $15.13, the options pits are buzzing -- and speculative players are calling for even more upside over the next several weeks.

Taking a quick step back, TWTR call options are crossing at two times what's typically seen at this point in the day, and are outpacing put options by a more than 2-to-1 margin. The stock's at-the-money June 15 call is in the lead. With TWTR topping out at a session high of $15.42 earlier, it looks like some of the activity here may have been a result of speculators selling to close their positions.

Elsewhere, it seems safe to assume new positions are being purchased at TWTR's July 18 call. By initiating new long positions at this out-of-the-money strike, call buyers anticipate a rally north of $18 by the close on Friday, July 15 -- when back-month options expire -- and a move to levels not seen since early March.

Today's rush toward calls is nothing new in TWTR's options pits -- and neither is a bet on multi-month highs. In fact, over the past 10 sessions, the stock's June 18 call has seen the biggest rise in open interest, with over 6,300 contracts added. Plus, according to the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the majority of these positions have been bought to open in recent weeks.

While TWTR is already up 7.9% week-to-date, this is no way reflective of the equity's longer-term price action. Year-over-year, the shares have surrendered nearly 56%, and are fresh off their May 24 record low of $13.73. What's more, this rally appears to be running out of steam at Twitter Inc's (NYSE:TWTR) 50-day moving average.

TWTR daily chart June 14

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