Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) Option Bull Gets Aggressive Ahead of Big Monday

Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) will field final bids for its core internet business on Monday, and will also report earnings

Alex Eppstein
Jul 15, 2016 at 12:59 PM
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Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) is off 0.3% at $37.84, as traders gear up for a crucial Monday. Specifically, final bids for the company's core assets are due, plus earnings will be released after the close. In the lead-up to those events, YHOO call options are running hot.

Right now, 38,000 calls have been exchanged, double the expected intraday rate. Most active by a mile is the weekly 7/22 40 strike, where Trade-Alert confirms a sweep of 10,000 contracts was bought to open for $0.23 each -- yielding an initial cash outlay of $230,000 (premium paid * number of contracts * 100 shares per contract). This sum represents the most the call buyer has on the line, even if the trade goes south. Conversely, profit potential is theoretically unlimited, should YHOO move north of breakeven at $40.23 (strike plus premium paid) by next Friday night's expiration -- territory not charted since June 2015.

This bullish appetite is par for the course. During the last two weeks at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), traders have bought to open more than five times as many YHOO call options as puts. The resultant call/put volume ratio of 5.05 ranks in the high 79th percentile of its annual range, confirming the relative preference for bullish bets over bearish.

Analysts have taken a glass-half-full approach, too. Fourteen brokerage firms consider YHOO a "strong buy," accompanied by another three "buy" ratings. By contrast, nine analysts sport "hold" assessments, with not a single "sell" to be found.

Technically speaking, Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) has been spinning its wheels in the $36-$38 range since late March, as the Street awaited a definitive word from the firm's auction process. Year-to-date, though, the internet stock sports a healthy lead of roughly 14%.

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