Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK) Options Traders Gamble on Extended Gains

Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK) is just one of several oil stocks soaring on OPEC's production cut agreement

Alex Eppstein
Nov 30, 2016 at 2:22 PM
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Like these two oil stocks, Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) is going gangbusters today on OPEC's production cut agreement. At last check, CHK stock was 10.7% higher at $7.05 on heavy volume. Like the shares, CHK call options are also flying off the shelves, with intraday volume in the 98th annual percentile.

Currently, about 60,000 calls are on the tape, nearly tripling the usual intraday amount of 22,000 contracts. The 7 strike is in focus, accounting for the three most active call options. Specifically, the weekly 12/2, December, and January 2017 7-strike calls are seeing what looks like potential buy-to-open action, suggesting these traders foresee more upside through the respective expiration dates.

Call buying is par for the course when it comes to CHK options traders. During the past two weeks at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), traders have bought to open 2.47 calls for every put. On top of that, the oil stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.92 sits in the bottom one-fifth of all readings from the last year.

There's a good reason options traders may be betting on upside: CHK has been a technical beast for most of 2016. Year-to-date, the shares are staring at a nearly 57% gain, and are on track for their highest settlement price since mid-September.

What's more, now's a good time to strike on Chesapeake Energy Corporation's (NYSE:CHK) short-term options. The stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 78% rests below 91% of all readings from the prior year, hinting at relatively muted volatility expectations. On a related note, CHK's Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) is a high 86, suggesting the options market has tended to underprice the stock's ability to make massive moves over the past year.

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