Alibaba Put Traders Triple Their Investment in Days

At the time of our recommendation, short-term BABA options were fairly priced

by Emma Duncan

Published on Oct 11, 2018 at 12:53 PM

Subscribers to Schaeffer's Weekly Options Countdown service just scored a 200% profit in four days with the Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) weekly 10/5 167.50-strike put. Below, we're going to take a look back at why we were bearish on the Chinese internet name, and how BABA performed after we suggested the put option. 

When we entered the position on Monday, Oct. 1, BABA shares were down more than 5% in 2018, underperforming the broader equities market. After touching a new 52-week low in mid-September, the stock bounced into the $165 area. This region once supported BABA, but we noted that it could switch roles and begin acting as a level of resistance toward the shares.

Nevertheless, analysts remained optimistic, with all 18 covering brokerage firms doling out "buy" or better opinions. We also noted that a round of downgrades could weigh on BABA. Elsewhere, short-term options traders were also upbeat. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.68 was in the bottom 25% of its annual range, suggesting near-term traders had rarely been more call-heavy in the past year.

Lastly, short-term BABA options were fairly priced. This is per the security's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 29%, which ranked in the 23rd annual percentile.

At the time of our recommendation, BABA was trading around $164.76. By Thursday -- a day prior to weekly options expiration -- the shares touched an intraday low of $153.87, as the broader stock market swooned. This drop allowed our subscribers to lock in a 200% profit on the Alibaba put, just four days after our initial recommendation.

Daily Chart of BABA with Entry and Exit Dates


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