Roku Stock Options Activity Signals Bearish Bias

Shares of ROKU have been soaring since their first day of trading

Oct 10, 2017 at 2:12 PM
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Shares of streaming name Roku Inc (NASDAQ:ROKU) began trading on the Nasdaq on Sept. 28, opening at $15.78 after pricing its initial public offering (IPO) at $14. ROKU options, meanwhile, became available one week later on Thursday, Oct. 5, and in that time, speculators have amassed 7,750 open positions on Roku. Here's a closer look at how options traders have been lining up on the streaming name, and how the stock has fared since it's market debut.

Most of the action in ROKU's options pits has occurred on the put side, with 4,667 puts and 3,083 calls outstanding. It's a similar setup in today's trading, with 1,845 puts and 1,715 calls on the tape at last check.

The January 2018 30-strike call and 20- and 24-strike puts make up the top three open interest positions, due to a three-way spread that was initiated yesterday. Specifically, it looks like one trader funded the purchase of a long put spread by selling to open the calls. If this is the case, the speculator would ideally like ROKU to settle right at $20 at January options expiration, while losses are theoretically unlimited on a breakout above $30 due to the sold call.

Shorter-term traders have targeted the weekly 10/13 24.50-strike put, as well as the October 23.50 put. Data from Trade-Alert indicates new positions were purchased at both strikes, meaning traders are betting on a quick retreat below the strikes by the respective expiration dates of this Friday's close and the close on Friday, Oct. 20.

At last check, ROKU was up 2% to trade at $25.03. Since skimming a record low of $15.75 on its first day of trading, the shares are up almost 59% -- but remain well below their Sept. 29 peak of $29.80.

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