Call Buying Picks Up as GoPro Inc (GPRO) Breaks Out

GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO) is rallying with its fellow tech stocks today

by Karee Venema

Published on Sep 22, 2016 at 2:26 PM

It's been a wild week for GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO). Today, the camera maker is soaring with its fellow tech stocks amid a broad-market rally, with some also giving credit to a round of short-covering for GPRO stock. Regardless, GPRO was last seen up 8.8% at $16.30, easily on track for its best weekly close of the year. Options traders are blasting GPRO stock, too, with total options volume running at two times the average intraday rate -- in the 92nd percentile of its annual intraday range.

Drilling down, around 33,000 GPRO calls have changed hands so far, compared to 28,000 puts. Most active is the stock's weekly 9/23 16-strike call, where it seems safe to assume new positions are being purchased. In other words, call buyers expect GPRO to extend its rally north of $16 through tomorrow's close, when the weekly options expire.

While put players have made an appearance in GPRO's options pits of late, the broader trend has been toward long calls. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), for instance, the equity's 50-day call/put volume ratio of 2.26 ranks just 6 percentage points from a 52-week peak.

As touched upon, though, GPRO is a heavily shorted stock, with these bearish bets accounting for more than 36% of the equity's available float. As such, it's possible some of the recent call buying -- specifically, at out-of-the-money strikes -- is a result of short sellers initiating some options-related "insurance."

Whatever the reason, those currently buying premium on GPRO's near-term options are getting a deal, relatively speaking. GoPro Inc's (NASDAQ:GPRO) Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 68% ranks in the 23rd annual percentile, meaning the options market is pricing in low volatility expectations at the moment.

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