Traders Turn Bullish on U.S. Silica

By Mike Yamamoto, managing editor of OptionMonster

NEW YORK -- U.S. Silica ( SLCA) does not typically see much option activity, but on Thursday option traders turned bullish on the name.

OptionMonster's tracking systems identified buying in the October 22.50 calls, where 2,561 contracts traded for $1.35 to $1.75. Open interest in the strike was just 504 calls before the session began, indicating that new positions were established.

The volume wasn't huge, but it did stand out in a name that averages just 938 options a day. Total SLCA calls outnumbered puts by 4 to 1 on Thursday, reflecting the bullish sentiment..

The calls purchased Thursday lock in the price where traders can buy the stock through mid-October no matter how far it might rise. But these contracts will track the share price closely because they are in the money, and they will quickly lose value if the stock doesn't move soon.

The company mines and sells commercial silica that has a broad range of uses, from oil and gas fracking to the production of paints and plastics. It gapped lower after missing second-quarter estimates on July 31 but reaffirmed its full-year guidance. Shares have been range-bound since then but rose 4.05% on Thursday to close at $22.89.

Yamamoto has no positions in SLCA.
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