Unusual Options Activity: TGT, GPS, FAST, URBN, And More

unusual options activityIt’s time to review several stocks that had unusual options activity over the last week. Although traders can never be sure why these trades take place (and who’s making them), I believe it’s important to be aware of notable options activity as an indicator for directional bias.

Here’s a weekly recap of 10 stocks that had unusual options activity and what, if any, significance these trades may have.

Unusual Options Activity: 10 Stocks With Notable Trades


Urban Outfitters (URBN) – 6,000 Aug $32 puts were purchased for $1.07-$1.30. Put activity on Urban Outfitters (URBN) was 7x the average daily volume. Urban Outfitters are due to report earnings on August 17th (shares fell 15% on the last report).

SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP) – There was a rollout from 18,180 Sep 18 $39 puts ($3.20 credit) into 28,800 Sep 18 $36 puts ($1.78 debit). On July 22nd, the Sep 18 $39 puts were bought for $2.12. Holly Frontier, PBF Energy, Tesoro, and Valero Energy are the top holdings in the ETF.



Gap (GPS) – 13,000 Sep 18 $35 puts were bought for $0.88-$1.01. Gap (GPS) earnings are due out on August 20th. On August 4th, Buckingham Research lowered their price target on Gap to $33 from $37. Shorts are currently just under 9% of the float. The owner of Old Navy, Banana Republic, and of course Gap has saw their U.S. apparel market share fall from 5.1% to 4.7% in the last five years.

Post Holdings (POST) – There was a rollout from 7,300+ Sep $45 calls ($8.60 credit) into 14,000+ Dec $60 calls ($2.51 debit). On August 6th, the owner of Golden Crisp, Honey-Comb, and Pebbles reported Q3 EPS of $0.27 vs the $0.20 estimate on revenue of $1.21B vs the $1.23B estimate (+91.4% year over year increase). Post Holdings (POST) increased FY15 EBITDA guidance to $635M-$650M from $585B-$610M.



Baxter International (BAX) – There was a rollout from 5,696 Aug 21 $40 calls ($2.45 credit) into 8,142 Jan 2016 $42.50 calls ($2.45 debit). Dan Loeb’s Third Point disclosed a 9.6% stake in Baxter International (BAX) – its largest shareholder.

Fastenal (FAST) – 5,000 Sep $40 puts were purchased for $0.65. Shares of Fastenal (FAST) are setting up for a retest of the $39. If support doesn’t hold it could mean a deeper correction for Fastenal, perhaps down to $35-$37.



Arista Networks (ANET) – The Aug $85/$90 bull call spread was put on 2,500 times for a $1.60 debit. On August 7th, SunTrust upped their price target on Arista Networks (ANET) to $105 from $100. Later that evening the company reported better than expected Q2 results and issued strong Q3 guidance.

SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT) – More than 10,000 Aug 21 $97.50 puts were bought for $1.19-$1.26. XRT (top holdings for the retail ETF include Amazon, Netflix, NutriSystem, and Walgreens Boots Alliance) closed below the 200-day simple moving average last week for the first time since October.



Sherwin-Williams (SHW) – The Jan 2016/Mar 2016 $300 call calendar was put on 5,000 times for a $2.20 debit. He/she is lowering the cost basis to $302.20, but doesn’t upside above $300 until after January 2016 options expiration.

Target (TGT) – There was a rollout from 5,000 Aug 14 weekly $80 puts ($1.62 credit) into 7,500 Aug 14 weekly $78.50 puts ($0.77 debit). He/she remains bearish on Target (TGT), but is taking some profits off of the table as expiration nears (paid $0.79-$1.05 on August 4th for the $80’s). Major support for Target stock price resides down at the $75.95 level.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!


Twitter:  @MitchellKWarren

No position in any of the securities mentioned at the time of publication.  Any opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author, and do not in any way represent the views or opinions of any other person or entity.


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