Options Market Picks: 9 Highly Liquid Stocks with Bullish Options Sentiment

By
A A A

(Written by Rebecca Lipman. List compiled by Eben Esterhuizen, CFA. Options data sourced from Schaeffer’s. Accounting data sourced from Google Finance.)

Stock options are interesting because they can provide a glimpse into the future – or at least what investors predict the future holds. Because options pay off at a future date from the time of purchase, stock option trends can indicate where investors expect stocks to move.

The two major stock options are call options and put options, and they represent optimism and pessimism respectively.  Call options are the option to buy a stock at a future date and at a price set today – calls become profitable when the stock rises, so buying a call indicates the investor expects the stock to rise.

Put options are the exact opposite. Whereas calls are the option to buy the stock, puts are the option to sell a stock in the future at a price fixed today. This becomes profitable if the stock falls over that time period, so investors buy puts when they become pessimistic on the stock’s outlook.

The Put/Call Ratio:

The Put/Call ratio is the number of put options relative to the number of call options for a given stock. If there are more put options (a put/call ratio greater than 1), then there are more investors who think that the share price will decrease than there are investors who think that the share price will increase.

Simply put, a high put/call ratio reflects a bearish sentiment about a given stock while a low ratio reflects a bullish sentiment. For this article we focus on stocks with low put call options.

Investing Ideas

To demonstrate this idea, we screened for stocks for that are seeing significant decreases in their put/call ratios over the last ten trading days, indicating bullish changes in sentiment from the options market.

To further refine the list, we screened for companies that have significant cash holdings relative to average quarterly operating expenses – a sign of strong liquidity. All of the companies mentioned below have cash holdings that exceed 4 times the average quarterly operating expense.

In other words, besides experiencing bullish option sentiment, all of these companies could function for more than four quarters without generating any revenue.

Options traders are bullish on these highly liquid names–do you agree? Use this list as a starting point for your own analysis.

Analyze These Ideas (Tools Will Open In A New Window)

1. Access a thorough description of all companies mentioned
2. Compare analyst ratings for all stocks mentioned below
3. Visualize annual returns for all stocks mentioned

1. Repros Therapeutics Inc. (RPRX): Over the last two weeks, the stock's Put/Call ratio changed from 0.13 to 0.11 (bullish change). Average quarterly operating expense over the last five quarters at $1.98M, vs. most recent cash and short term investments at $10.25M, implies a Cash / Avg. Operating Expense ratio at 5.19.

2. VeriSign Inc. (VRSN): Provides Internet infrastructure services to various networks worldwide. Over the last two weeks, the stock's Put/Call ratio changed from 0.77 to 0.29 (bullish change). Average quarterly operating expense over the last five quarters at $110.47M, vs. most recent cash and short term investments at $1234.92M, implies a Cash / Avg. Operating Expense ratio at 11.18.

3. Affymax, Inc. (AFFY): Engages in the development of drugs for the treatment of serious and life-threatening conditions. Over the last two weeks, the stock's Put/Call ratio changed from 0.68 to 0.27 (bullish change). Average quarterly operating expense over the last five quarters at $27.49M, vs. most recent cash and short term investments at $113.31M, implies a Cash / Avg. Operating Expense ratio at 4.12.

4. Theravance Inc. (THRX): Engages in the discovery, development, and commercialization of small molecule medicines for various therapeutic areas, including respiratory disease, bacterial infections, and central nervous system (CNS)/pain. Over the last two weeks, the stock's Put/Call ratio changed from 0.6 to 0.18 (bullish change). Average quarterly operating expense over the last five quarters at $28.67M, vs. most recent cash and short term investments at $265.17M, implies a Cash / Avg. Operating Expense ratio at 9.25.

5. InfoSpace Inc. (INSP): Develops search tools and technologies that assist consumers with finding content and information on the Internet. Over the last two weeks, the stock's Put/Call ratio changed from 0.53 to 0.09 (bullish change). Average quarterly operating expense over the last five quarters at $48.19M, vs. most recent cash and short term investments at $279.27M, implies a Cash / Avg. Operating Expense ratio at 5.8.

6. MELA Sciences, Inc. (MELA): Over the last two weeks, the stock's Put/Call ratio changed from 0.26 to 0.21 (bullish change). Average quarterly operating expense over the last five quarters at $5M, vs. most recent cash and short term investments at $20.94M, implies a Cash / Avg. Operating Expense ratio at 4.19.

7. Two Harbors Investment Corp. (TWO): Operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT) that focuses on investing in, financing, and managing residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) and related investments. Over the last two weeks, the stock's Put/Call ratio changed from 0.51 to 0.39 (bullish change). Average quarterly operating expense over the last five quarters at $9.05M, vs. most recent cash and short term investments at $409.95M, implies a Cash / Avg. Operating Expense ratio at 45.31.

8. Thompson Creek Metals Company Inc. (TC): Engages in mining, milling, processing, and marketing molybdenum products in the United States and Canada. Over the last two weeks, the stock's Put/Call ratio changed from 0.33 to 0.18 (bullish change). Average quarterly operating expense over the last five quarters at $92.88M, vs. most recent cash and short term investments at $560.4M, implies a Cash / Avg. Operating Expense ratio at 6.03.

9. Ansys, Inc. (ANSS): Engages in the development and marketing of engineering simulation software and services used by engineers and designers in aerospace, automotive, manufacturing, electronics, biomedical, energy, and defense industries. Over the last two weeks, the stock's Put/Call ratio changed from 4.46 to 0.26 (bullish change). Average quarterly operating expense over the last five quarters at $98M, vs. most recent cash and short term investments at $406.88M, implies a Cash / Avg. Operating Expense ratio at 4.15. 



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Investing Ideas , Options , Stocks


Kapitall

Kapitall

More from Kapitall:

Related Videos

Quick on Your Feet
Quick on Your Feet                  
Early Entrepreneurship
Early Entrepreneurship              

Stocks

Referenced

Most Active by Volume

48,099,947
  • $16.09 ▲ 0.50%
40,277,806
  • $102.50 ▲ 0.24%
40,236,499
  • $19.57 ▲ 2.35%
31,092,510
  • $49.75 ▲ 0.65%
30,795,218
  • $34.92 ▲ 0.78%
29,910,855
  • $3.63 ▲ 0.83%
24,019,154
  • $13.06 ▼ 0.38%
23,753,906
  • $74.82 ▲ 1.31%
As of 8/29/2014, 04:04 PM

Find a Credit Card

Select a credit card product by:
Select an offer:
Search
Data Provided by BankRate.com