Options Traders Bet on a Drop Ahead of Mylan NV (MYL) CEO Testimony

Mylan NV (MYL) is higher ahead of today's congressional testimony from the company's CEO, but options traders have been taking a bearish approach lately

Sep 21, 2016 at 10:55 AM
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Drugmaker Mylan NV (NASDAQ:MYL) is bracing for another day in the spotlight, with the shares dropping out of the gate, but quickly reversing course, last seen up 1.3% at $40.92. The company’s CEO, Heather Bresch, is due to testify in front of the House Oversight Committee today regarding EpiPen price increases -- for which MYL has been lambasted in recent months. The trouble has only gotten deeper so far this week, with Senate Republicans calling for a probe into the company's rebate system, and West Virginia opening an investigation into possible antitrust and Medicaid violations. Upon this backdrop, traders and analysts have largely been taking a bearish approach toward MYL.

In MYL's options pits, the action has been relatively slow in recent days. But speculators have been more put-heavy of late, per the stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.76 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). Not only does this show long puts nearly doubling calls over the past two weeks, but it ranks higher than nearly two-thirds of all comparable readings in the past year.

Traders have been targeting quick losses, too. Over the last 10 sessions, MYL's weekly 9/23 40- and 41-strike puts have seen the largest rise in open interest, with a large majority of these positions bought to open. That means put buyers have been betting MYL shares will drop below the strike prices before the weekly options expire at the close this Friday.

Outside of the options pits, short sellers have been backing off, with these pessimistic positions falling by more than 25% over the last two reporting periods. But this short-covering is likely the result of bears collecting profits, and has done little to help the shares.

The brokerage bunch has been taking a tepid approach to MYL, as well. Two-thirds of analysts currently rate the stock merely a "hold," though none recommend selling the shares.

Technically, MYL has been struggling of late. The stock is down 24% year-to-date, and its most recent rally attempt stalled out just shy of the $42 level on Friday. In fact, the $40-$42 range has been crucial for Mylan NV in the past, providing both support and resistance, and limiting the stock's movements so far this month.

MYL Weekly Chart September 21

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