David Russell, reporter for OptionMonster.

Options traders flooded into bearish positions on Zions Bancorp. ( ZION) today after the regional lender posted an $832.2 million first-quarter loss.

More than 3,900 May 9 puts changed hands this morning against open interest of just 376 contracts, at prices ranging from 25 cents to $1.30. Most of the options traded above theoretical value, which reflects strong buying interest. Money also flowed into the May 7.50 puts and the July 2.50 puts, which went for 12 cents to 65 cents and 10 cents to 15 cents, respectively.

Overall put volume in Zions outnumbered calls by more than 2 to 1, according to OptionMonster's monitoring systems.

Zions shares have plunged 17% to $10.73 since the earnings report this morning. The company faces a surge of bad real estate loans and investment losses, and its credit rating was cut to junk by Moody's Investors Service.

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