Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) Options Red-Hot Amid M&A Chatter

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) call options are flying off the shelves amid unconfirmed buyout chatter with Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS)

by Andrea Kramer

Published on Sep 30, 2016 at 1:43 PM
Updated on Sep 30, 2016 at 2:45 PM

Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) has been a popular target for M&A speculation of late, with Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) emerging as the latest rumored buyout candidate. Unconfirmed takeover chatter (subscription required) has seemingly sent NFLX stock and options volume surging today, with the streaming video giant last seen 2.5% higher at $99.09.

NFLX call options are flying off the shelves at twice the average intraday clip, and have more than doubled puts thus far. While many speculators are rushing to place eleventh-hour bets with weekly 9/30 calls -- which expire at tonight's close, and account for six of the seven most active contracts -- it looks like some bulls are betting on triple-digit territory for NFLX within the next week.

Specifically, it seems traders are buying to open weekly 10/7 100-strike calls, which will move into the money if NFLX topples $100 by the close on Friday, Oct. 7. Although NFLX hasn't ended a week above the century mark since early June, delta on the call jumped from 0.21 yesterday to 0.40 today, indicating a 40% chance of finishing in the money.

Today's appetite for NFLX calls isn't new, though. 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) rests at 1.40, higher than roughly two-thirds of all other readings from the past year. In other words, options buyers have picked up NFLX calls over puts at a faster-than-usual pace during the last two weeks.

On the charts, it's been a relatively rough 2016 for Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), which is down 13.4% year-to-date. Today, however, NFLX shares are set to end atop their 200-day moving average for just the second time since before their mid-April bear gap. Off the charts, NFLX is already in an exclusive streaming deal with Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS), and is no stranger to takeover speculation.

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