Clovis Stock Craters, Attracts Option Bears

CLVS puts are popular after upbeat drug data from AstraZeneca

Oct 22, 2018 at 3:08 PM
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Several biotech stocks are getting demolished today, including Clovis Oncology Inc (NASDAQ:CLVS). It appears CLVS stock is down on encouraging data from rival AstraZeneca (AZN), after the latter's Lynparza was shown to halt or reverse tumor growth in ovarian cancer patients. Against this backdrop, Clovis stock was last seen down 19.72% at $21.16 -- and fresh off a two-year low of $20.56 -- and options traders are betting on more downside.

Clovis stock has surrendered roughly 70% in 2018, and has been in a channel of lower highs and lows since peaking just shy of $100 in July 2017. So far this year, CLVS has enjoyed just one positive month -- May's 8.25% gain -- and has ended every other month in the red. With the equity down 28.8% so far in October, CLVS is on pace for its worst month since January 2016.

CLVS stock chart oct 22

Although Clovis shares are on the short-sale restricted list today, bears are coming out in full force. The security has seen roughly 1,375 put options change hands -- three times the average afternoon pace. Attracting the most attention has been the November 20 put, which has seen apparent buy-to-open activity. By purchasing the puts to open, the traders expect CLVS shares to retreat beneath $20 by options expiration on Friday, Nov. 16 -- which also encompasses the company's third-quarter earnings, slated for release Oct. 30.

Today's appetite for bearish bets runs counter to the recent trend, though. Despite CLVS' long-term technical woes, options traders on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) have bought to open 21.4 calls for every put in the past two weeks. This ratio registers in the 86th percentile of its annual range, pointing to a healthier-than-usual appetite for bullish bets over bearish of late.

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