ON Semi Draws Late-Day Call-Buying

By David Russell, reporter at OptionMonster

PHOENIX ( TheStreet) -- At least one trader is betting that ON Semiconductor ( ONNN) will bounce heading into earnings next week.

More than 2,300 February 8 calls were bought for 25 cents in the final 25 minutes of trading Thursday, according to OptionMonster's tracking systems. The purchases came after the stock pulled back from an 8.2% drop and found support at its 200-day moving average.

About 2,000 contracts were sold earlier in the session, pushing volume in the strike to 4,410 against open interest of 2,738. As a result, it's not entirely clear whether the late-day call-buying represented new money or the closing of existing short positions. Either way, it reflects a belief that the stock's downside is limited.

ON Semiconductor fell 6.3% to $7.44 in the session and is down 15% in the last month. The chipmaker gapped higher on strong results and a bullish forecast after its last earnings release on Nov. 3. The next report comes out after the bell on Feb. 3.

The company's shares need to rally at least 11% by expiration for Thursday's call-buyer to turn a profit.

Overall options volume in the name was five times greater than average Thursday, with calls outnumbering puts by 18 to 1.

-- At the time of publication, Russell had no position in the stock mentioned.

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