Call Traders Swipe Right on Match Stock

The Tinder parent is restructuring its leadership team in Asia

by Patrick Martin

Published on Apr 15, 2019 at 2:29 PM

Match Group Inc (NASDAQ:MTCH) stock is up 5.9% to trade at $60.80 today, and earlier tapped a record high of $61.31, after the dating services company restructured its leadership in Asia in an attempt to boost international growth. In response to the shuffle, MTCH options traders are out in droves today.

More specifically, nearly 7,300 MTCH call options have changed hands today -- 11 times the expected intraday amount and seven times the number of puts traded. The April 65 and 60 calls are the most active, with new positions being opened. Buyers of these calls are banking on more upside from the equity in the coming days, with April-dated options expiring at the close on Thursday, April 18.

But this runs conversely to the options trend seen in recent weeks. The security's Schaeffer’s put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.50 sits 2 percentage points from an annual high. In other words, this suggests a larger-than-usual put-skew among near-term Match Group options traders. 

Short sellers continue to pile on, too, and could provide plenty of fuel for the next leg higher. Short interest increased by 9% in the two most recent reporting periods, to 18.34 million shares. This represents 36% of MTCH's total available float, and nearly 12 days of pent-up buying power, at the stock's average pace of trading.

On the charts, Match stock is heading toward its best day of 2019 so far, and is set to conquer a recent speed bump in the round $60 region. In recent months, the equity has relied on its 50-day moving average to contain pullbacks.

MTCH Stock Chart

Despite Match Group's nearly 42% year-to-date lead, the majority of analysts still rate the stock a tepid "hold." Meanwhile, the consensus 12-month price target of $58.24 represents a discount to MTCH's current price. A round of analyst upgrades and price-target hikes could lure even more buyers to the Tinder parent's table.
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