Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) Options Traders Take on the Century Mark

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) options traders have been buying and selling positions at the 100 strike

by Josh Selway

Published on Jun 30, 2016 at 10:40 AM

While most attention this morning has been levied toward the $4.4 billion deal between Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (USA) (NYSE:LGF) and Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA), fellow entertainment stock Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) has also made some waves. Specifically, the online streaming company's Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said it continues to look into entering China, calling it a "great opportunity." In the meantime, there's interesting data to consider in NFLX's options pits, as traders on both sides of the aisle have been placing bets amid historically low premiums

But taking a quick step back, NFLX options traders have generally preferred call buying over put buying lately, as confirmed by the stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 1.27 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). Moreover, our Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) for NFLX stands at 0.87, putting it in the 12th annual percentile. Said simply, short-term options traders are unusually call-skewed at the moment. 

Digging deeper, peak open interest for NFLX options resides at the front-month July 100 call, which holds more than 19,000 contracts. After that, with roughly 18,600 contracts in residence, is the August 100 call. Data from the ISE suggests mostly buy-to-open activity for the July call, while the August call has seen a mix of buying and selling. The call buyers hope to see NFLX top $100 by the respective expiration dates of Friday, July 15, and Friday, August 19, while those selling to open the calls expect the century mark to serve as resistance. 

Now turning to the historically low premiums mentioned earlier, the stock boasts a Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 34%, which is just 5 percentage points from a 12-month low. This means the options market is pricing in unusually low volatility expectations for NFLX's near-term options at the moment. 

Taking a quick peak at today's options trading, NFLX put options are trading at a slightly accelerated rate early on. This is due to heavy interest in the weekly 7/1 series -- which expires at the close tomorrow -- with the 90-strike put taking the top spot. 

Unfortunately for anyone who's bullish, it's been a rough year for Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) stock. The shares have turned out a series of lower highs since their record peak of $133.27 back in December, losing 32% in the process. Today, NFLX is down 1.1% at $90.09, as the stock continues to fluctuate between its 10- and 20-month moving averages

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