Unusual Options Activity: AAL, APA, NCR, ARMH, And More

unusual options activityIt’s Sunday night so it’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 another 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


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ARM Holdings (ARMH) – There was sizable buying in the July $55 calls (3,000+ traded) and Oct $65 calls (3,500+ traded). Call activity was 6x the average daily volume. Shares of ARMH have made a nice recovery from the October lows and are now nearing a retest of major resistance at the $54-$55 level.

BlackBerry (BBRY) – A rollout from 9,400 June 19 $11 puts ($1.70 credit) into 15,000 July 17 $10 puts ($1.01 debit). There were similar bearish rolls last week. Blackberry’s Q1 earnings are due out on June 23rd. RBC Capital sees smartphone sales at 700K units, or down about 56% from the year ago quarter. BBRY has been trading lower of late.

SPDR KBW Regional Banking ETF (KRE) – The Dec $40/$47 bull risk reversal was put on 4,000 times for a $0.16 debit. The regional bank ETF is bouncing off of the test of $44. Interest rates didn’t increase at the June FOMC meeting last week, but hopes of the long awaited hike are pushing financials up and dragging down bond prices.

Lannett Company (LCI) – 1,000 Sep $65 calls were purchased for $2.40. The stock recently bounced off of long-term support at the 40-week simple moving average.



American Airlines (AAL) – 5,000 July 2 weekly $43 calls were purchased for $0.37-$0.42. Lower oil prices provided a relief to American Airlines (AAL) and other airline stocks. This combination pushed the underlying above the 20-day SMA, which could lead to a rally to $44 in the short-term.

Abbott Laboratories (ABT) – Sizable buying in the July $50 calls (3,400+ traded) and July $52.50 calls (3,400+ traded). Shares of ABT broke out to new highs last week. They support Mylan’s bid for Perrigo (own 14.5% of the company).

Apache (APA) – The Jan 2016 $65/$75 bull call spread was put on 5,000 times for a $1.32 debit. They recently sold their Australian unit for $2.1B to a group of PE firms (part of restructuring plans to become more nimble). Shares dropped for the 7th straight week.

Ferrellgas Partners (FGP) – A rollout from 4,375 June $25 puts ($1.83-$1.84 credit) into 4,375 July $25 puts ($2.16 debit). They missed Q3 EPS estimates on June 9th and sales were down 26.2%.

Knowles (KN) – 4,600+ July $22.50 calls traded with the majority being bought for $0.30-$0.40. Call activity was 12x the average daily volume (IV +11.4% to 51.35). The company has made a tender offer to acquire Audience in a cash/stock deal.

NCR Corp (NCR) – There was sizable buying in the July $33 calls (1,800+ traded) and July $34 calls (2,600+ traded). Implied volatility rose 15.3% to 41.50. Blackstone and Carlyle are reportedly looking at a $10B bid for NCR (likely includes debt). Apollo Global Management and Thoma Bravo are two others interested in the company, according to Reuters.

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.