How Premium Buyers Won Big on This Red-Hot Tech Stock

As expected, FFIV bounced off familiar support

Managing Editor
Sep 27, 2018 at 3:22 PM
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Subscribers to Schaeffer's Leverage Trader service scored a cool 144% profit with the F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFIV) September 165 call. We're going to take a look back at why the tech stock was the perfect pick for a contrarian trade, and how FFIV performed after we recommended the calls.

At the time of our recommendation on Monday, Aug. 6, F5 Networks stock had pulled back to its 80-day moving average. This trendline had bullish implications on the stock in the past; it gapped higher following a similar pullback back in April. Plus, the $174 level the shares were trading near was double the 2016 closing low, and appeared poised to emerge as newfound support following a slight post-earnings dip.  

However, the sentiment picture for FFIV was quite bearish. Of the 17 brokerages covering the security, 12 rated it a "hold" or "strong sell."  In other words, there was ample room for upgrades, which could provide more tailwinds for the equity.

There was also plenty of pessimism from short sellers that was ready to unwind. Short interest peaked back in April, but was nearing those highs once more in late July. It would have taken shorts nearly eight days to buy back their bearish bets, at the stock's average pace of trading. 

It was also encouraging that near-term options contracts were attractively priced. This was according to FFIV's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI), which was ranked in the low end of its 52-week range, hinting at extremely tame volatility expectations.

As expected F5 Networks bounced from its 80-day trendline, and climbed steadily throughout August. The stock got an extra boost by a lofty price-target hike from Credit Suisse in early September. Plus, short sellers continued to cover, with short interest dropping 7.5% in the Aug. 15 through Sept. 15 reporting periods. FFIV nabbed a then-record high of $196.50 on Sept. 21, allowing us to close the trade ahead of expiration and lock in a profit of 144%.

Trade Postmortem FFIV


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