Options suggests investors split on Yahoo

CIOL Bureau
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NEW YORK, USA: Options activity on Yahoo Inc suggests traders do not have conviction on which way the Internet portal giant's stock will move once it reports quarterly results after the bell on Tuesday.


In early afternoon trading, 26,000 trades were made on the underlying stock in the options market, with 16,000 calls and 9,700 puts, according to Steve Claussen, chief investment strategist at online brokerage in Chicago. The average daily trade volume is about 45,000, with calls beating puts by a ratio of 2:1.

"Both calls and puts are trading independently, without any big individual or institutions buyers or sellers. Traders expect a move, but they are pretty equally split on whether that move would be up or down," said Claussen.

The stock was up 1.2 percent at $16.05.


Claussen added, the February $16 straddle - where a trader buys a call option and a put option at the same price - was trading actively, at a premium of $1.16, suggesting expectations for a move of a move of about 7 percent in the stock by the time February options expire.

"Volatility is low and the overall activity is quiet because traders expect the results to come in line with the forecast," said Paul Foster, options strategist at

Yahoo is expected to report earnings of 11 cents per share for the fourth-quarter versus 17 cents a year ago, and a net revenue of $1.23 billion, down about 10 percent from last year, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.


Carol Bartz, CEO of Yahoo, has been trying to revitalise the company by shedding staff, dropping unprofitable products and getting the firm to respond faster to changes in the way people use the web.

"This one doesn't have any speculative money pouring into it at all... we're not seeing the same stuff we have seen in Apple," said

Jon Najarian, co-founder of optionMonster, a Web information site, said activity in Yahoo has not been as heavy as in Apple.