Smith & Wesson Holding Corp (SWHC) Option Buyers Target Record Highs

Option buyers expect record highs for gun maker Smith & Wesson Holding Corp (SWHC)

Jul 8, 2016 at 3:07 PM
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While the major market indexes are rallying on an impressive jobs report, weapons makers are surging on a more somber note. Specifically, stun-gun maker TASER International, Inc. (NASDAQ:TASR) and body camera specialist Digital Ally, Inc. (NASDAQ:DGLY) are higher, as the shooting deaths of police officers in Dallas fuel expectations for law-enforcement equipment demand. In the same vein, gun maker Smith & Wesson Holding Corp (NASDAQ:SWHC) has been muscling higher amid an increasingly frequent debate about gun control, and options traders today are betting on all-time highs for SWHC in the near term.

The shares of SWHC are up 2.8% at $29.09, at last check, and have rallied roughly 77% in the past year. The stock touched a record high of $30.44 in mid-March, not long after issuing upbeat 2016 guidance, but eventually backpedaled to its 200-day moving average in the $21.50 area. SWHC was catapulted on its most recent leg higher in mid-June, following a mass shooting in Orlando.

SWHC chart July 8

As alluded to earlier, SWHC option buyers are betting on even more upside. Call options are trading at nearly twice the average intraday clip, and have more than tripled SWHC puts thus far. The most active option by a landslide is the August 30 call, where it looks like some traders are buying the contracts to open. By doing so, they're expecting SWHC to break north of $30 -- and into all-time-high territory -- by the close on Friday, Aug. 19, when the options expire.

Even prior to today, SWHC calls were flying off the shelves at a faster-than-usual clip. The stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) stands at 8.37, indicating that more than eight calls have been bought to open for every SWHC put in the past two weeks. Further, this ratio is higher than 79% of all other readings from the past year.

Likewise, the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.48 indicates that calls more than double puts among options expiring in the next three months. In the front-month series, the July 29 call is home to peak open interest, with almost 4,400 contracts in residence. Beyond that, open interest is relatively scarce. If Smith & Wesson Holding Corp (SWHC) can get beyond the round-number $30 marker, there's little in the way of options-related resistance to hold the shares back.

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