Options Trader Bets $2 Million On Shopify Stock Sell-Off

The stock has failed to recover since Citron's short seller tweet

Apr 16, 2018 at 2:53 PM
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Shopify Inc (NYSE:SHOP) stock fell hard in late March, after Citron Research said it should be trading at $100 and predicted Facebook-related headwinds. More recently, the shares have been testing some key technical levels. First of all, they again have been bouncing from the $112 area, which represents a 50% Fibonacci retracement of their 52-week range. SHOP stock is also again testing the 160-day moving average, a trendline that's been supportive since October. At last check, the security was down 1.8% at $115.41, and one options trader is betting big that more losses are ahead.

shop price today

SHOP puts are trading at two times the average intraday clip this afternoon, with more than 7,700 exchanged. Trade-Alert is highlighting a block of 2,400 July 110 puts that crossed earlier for $8.50 a piece. If this activity was of the buy-to-open variety, it'd mean the trader paid $2 million (contracts purchased * 100 shares per contract * price paid for each), and is expecting Shopify shares to fall below $101.50 (strike minus premium paid) by July options expiration. Coming into today, peak open interest resided at the January 2019 100-strike put, home to 3,390 contracts. 

Going by the stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 54%, which ranks in the 15th annual percentile, it's a good time to buy premium. Specifically, that low annual rank hints at lower-than-usual volatility expectations being priced into near-term Shopify options.

As for analysts, most are still bullish on the e-commerce specialist. There are 23 brokerage firms tracking SHOP, and 16 say to "buy" the stock. The average 12-month price target, meanwhile, stands up at $145.43 -- a 25.8% premium to current levels.

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