Options Bulls Bet on More Upside for TDOC Stock

The stock has already added nearly 60% this year

by Lillian Currens

Published on Mar 5, 2020 at 2:14 PM

Online healthcare platform Teladoc Health Inc (NYSE:TDOC), has been joining a good chunk of its sector peers in bucking the broadmarket trend in recent weeks, with coronavirus fears actually boding well for the tech name as more patients anxious over the outbreak turn to remote health services over traditional office visits. In fact, TDOC has added 9.81% to trade at $134.45 so far today, just a chip shot away from the equity's record close of $135.15, touched late last month. 

The pop has sparked the attention of the options pits, with several bulls betting on even more upside for TDOC. In fact, 13,000 calls have already crossed the tape today -- four times the average intraday volume -- compared to 3,683 puts, which are running double to what's typically seen at this point. It looks like positions are being opened at the March 120 and 135 calls, while  the 140 call contract from the same series is also quite popular. This could suggest some traders are expecting TDOC to rally atop the $140 region by the time these contracts expire on Friday, March 20. 

Digging deeper, Teledoc Health has found solid support at the $120 level since gapping north of the region following its fourth-quarter earnings report last week, with long-time support at the 20-day moving average also guiding the stock higher. And while the $145 region has been acting as a ceiling since then, the equity boasts an impressive 57.3% gain for the year so far. 

TDOC chart March 5

While it's fourth-quarter report sparked a frenzy of price target hikes from analysts, there's still room for upgrades. The consensus 12-month target price of $123 is a 6.8% discount to current levels. Plus, eight of the 18 analysts in coverage still consider TDOC a "hold."

This recent positive price action has started to spook short sellers, with short interest down 13.8% in the last two reporting periods. There's still plenty of short interest to be unwound though, which could put even more wind at the security's back. The 18.61 million shares sold short represent over a quarter of TDOC's available float, and would take almost three weeks to cover at the equity's average daily pace of trading. 


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