Call Buyers Bet on an Extended Breakout for this Hot Healthcare Stock

MiMedx shareholders may be using puts to protect paper profits

Aug 16, 2017 at 3:07 PM
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It's been a huge year for regenerative tissue specialist MiMedx Group Inc (NASDAQ:MDXG), with the shares soaring close to 130% year-over-year to trade at $16.94, while hitting a record high of $17.24 just yesterday. Meanwhile, options volume has been accelerated, evidenced by the fact that total open interest now stands at a 52-week high. It's more of the same today, too, as options traders are betting on an extended breakout for MDXG stock. 

Jumping right in, calls are trading at double the pace expected today, and leading the way is the March 2018 20-strike call. All signs point to buy-to-open activity here, which would mean speculators are betting on MiMedx shares toppling the $20 level by the time the contracts expire in March. 

Interestingly, puts have also been very popular on MDXG. The top open interest position belongs to the September 12.50 put, and data from the major options exchanges confirms buy-to-open activity here. Furthermore, the equity has a Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 2.37, ranking just 1 percentage point from a 12-month high, so short-term options traders are unusually put-skewed at the moment. But given the stock's tremendous technical strength, much of this is likely due to shareholders hedging with options

Still, MiMedx could have even more upside potential, from a contrarian standpoint. First of all, short interest remains very elevated, despite a sharp drop earlier in the year. In fact, short interest actually increased over the two most recent reporting periods, and now represents over one-fifth of the stock's float. Meanwhile, the shares are now trading comfortably above their average 12-month price target of $15. As such, a short-squeeze situation and/or a round of analyst price-target hikes could provide tailwinds for MDXG. 

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