The calendar full of earnings releases has kept option volume strong this week, particularly in the single-stock space as investors express micro bets rather than the macro views we usually see in the index and the ETF space. The following names have shown bullish option flow, primarily in the form of unusually large opening purchases of out-of-the-money calls expiring within 90 days.
Neptune Technologies(NEPT) is a pretty thinly traded low dollar biotech that had earnings earlier this month and has started to show signs of life, with a buyer of 1000 February 2.5 calls yesterday for $0.55 to $0.60 as shares traded near $2.85. It is unclear if there are any upcoming events that could move the stock, but current call open interest is more than 5600 contracts, compared with barely 1000 in late 2012.
Red Hat (RHT) is seeing a second day of heavy bullish flow. Yesterday we saw a buyer of 10,000 February 57.5 calls (opening) and today, with shares up 2.5% near $55.85, we are seeing more action at the same strike.
Markwest Energy Partners(MWE) saw a buy of deep in the money January 2014 25 calls, and it looks like a stock replacement trade to maximize use of capital. Shares are near the upper third of their 52-week range of $45-61 and put/call skew is very flat compared with history, showing an upward bias to market expectations.
Nexen Energy(NXY) saw a buyer of February 27 calls yesterday, with more than 10,000 for a top price of $0.30, opening 7700 contracts and causing February IV to spike nearly five points.
HomeAway(AWAY) saw interesting late call buying on Wednesday as a total of 6300 March 25 calls were bought when shares were near $23.40. Those worked out well as shares are up more than 1% this morning and IV is up 10 points to 44% at the strike. Buying is continuing, suggesting something may be 'up up up' in AWAY.