A Contrarian Opportunity as Huntsman Stock Climbs

Underloved Huntsman Corporation (HUN) has been climbing the charts, but bears have yet to abandon their positions

Mar 14, 2017 at 10:18 AM
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Chemical company Huntsman Corporation (NYSE:HUN) has been on a solid uptrend for more than a year, adding 83.6% over the past 12 months alone. Since topping out at an annual peak above $23 earlier this month, the shares have pulled back slightly, but remain poised well above the 50-day moving average, which has been keeping losses in check since October. HUN could also see a potential layer of resistance clear in coming weeks, as heavy call open interest at the March 22 and 23 calls will expire on Friday.

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A round of upbeat analyst attention could create tailwinds for HUN. Specifically, only 40% of the brokerage firms following the stock currently rate the shares better than a "hold." Short interest on the stock is also notable, representing nearly 5% of the available float. These pessimistic positions rose through much of late 2016, and after a brief period of short covering rose by 9.3% in the most recent two-week reporting period. Continued gains in HUN stock could have these shorts feeling some pain, and another round of covering could fuel the stock's next move higher.

An unwinding of bearish bets among options traders could also be a major boon for HUN. Put buying has nearly doubled call buying over the past 10 weeks on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). Moreover, the resulting put/call volume ratio of 1.92 ranks in the 94th percentile of its annual range. Near-term traders have taken a similarly put-skewed approach. HUN holds a Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.82 -- just 4 percentage points from a 12-month peak.

It's currently a prime time to pick up near-term options on HUN, as the stock holds a Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 30% -- lower than 95% of all comparable readings from the past year. Simply put, premium is pricing in historically low volatility expectations right now. The stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) of 79 also indicates HUN shares have made bigger moves on the charts over the past 12 months, compared to what the options market has priced in. Finally, our recommended call option boasts a leverage ratio of 4.9, and will double in value on a 19.6% rise in the underlying shares.

Subscribers to Schaeffer's Weekend Alert service received this HUN commentary on Sunday night, along with a detailed options trade recommendation -- including complete entry and exit parameters. Learn more about why Weekend Alert is one of our most popular trading services.

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