Option Bulls Blitz Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) On Intel Rumors

Call buyers are blitzing Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) on rumors the chipmaker has entered a licensing deal with Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC)

Dec 6, 2016 at 3:38 PM
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Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE:AMD) options are trading at an accelerated clip today, with the semiconductor stock surging to levels not seen in six years. With AMD stock up 9% at $9.47 -- and fresh off $9.54, its highest peak since February 2011 -- more than 138,000 AMD options had changed hands, two times what's typically seen at this point in the day. Helping boost the tech stock is speculation the chipmaker has licensed its graphics technology to Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC). Plus, Loop Capital initiated coverage on AMD stock with a "buy" rating and $11 price target, saying the "smooth sailing" will likely continue, and that "2017 and 2018 will be solid years for AMD."

AMD options traders are apparently betting on more upside, too, at least in the near term. More than 97,000 calls have traded on AMD so far today, with about 13% of the action centered at the weekly 12/9 9-strike call. It seems likely some of the activity at this now in-the-money call is a result of speculators purchasing new positions, meaning they expect AMD stock to extend today's rally through this Friday's close, when the weekly series expires.

Widening the sentiment scope reveals options traders have shown a growing appetite for long calls over puts in recent months. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), AMD's 50-day call/put volume ratio of 3.51 ranks in the 67th annual percentile, meaning calls have been bought to open over puts at a faster-than-usual clip.

With a healthy 12% of AMD's float sold short, it's likely some of this call buying -- particularly at out-of-the-money strikes -- is due to short sellers hedging their bearish bets against any additional upside risk. Regardless, now appears to be a prime time to buy premium on the stock. Specifically, AMD's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 63% ranks in the 18th percentile of its 52-week range, suggesting low volatility expectations are priced into the security's near-term options. Plus, AMD's Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) is docked at a lofty 95, indicating the options market has historically underpriced the equity's ability to make big moves on the chart over the past year.

Speaking of the equity's technical prowess, today's positive price action is just more of the same for the shares of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE:AMD). Year-to-date, in fact, the tech stock has more than tripled in value. And with around 63% of covering analysts still maintaining a "hold" or worse rating on the stock, more bullish brokerage notes could be on the horizon -- which could help propel the shares even higher up the charts.

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