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Ciena Corporation (NASDAQ:CIEN - 17.44) has rallied almost 17% today, after revealing adjusted quarterly earnings that topped analysts' projections this morning. As a result, call volume is running 10 times higher than normal, with roughly 26,000 contracts exchanged so far. By contrast, around 10,000 puts have crossed the tape. Receiving notable attention on the bullish side of the options aisle is the March 18 call, which has seen more than 3,000 contracts change hands a volume-weighted average price (VWAP) of $0.21.
Upon closer inspection, it appears the majority of these near-the-money calls traded off the ask price, signaling buyer-driven activity. Meanwhile, this option is home to open interest of just 2,096 contracts, suggesting at least some of the volume is made up of new positions. Essentially, these call buyers are counting on CIEN to muscle north of breakeven at $18.21 (strike price plus the VWAP) by the close on March 15, when these front-month options expire. This would require a 4.4% rise from the stock's current perch.
This surge in call activity coincides with CIEN's recent trend on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). The equity's 10-day call/put volume ratio checks in at 3.60, confirming traders have bought to open more than three times as many calls than puts during the past two weeks. This ratio ranks above 82% of comparable 12-month readings, indicating speculators have been scooping up calls over puts at a faster-than-usual pace.
Similarly, CIEN's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.71 indicates that calls outnumber puts among options with a shelf-life of three months or less. In fact, this ratio hovers just 6 percentage points above a yearly nadir, meaning near-term traders have rarely been more call-heavy toward the equity during the past year.
Thanks to today's earnings-induced pop, the networking equipment provider now sits on a year-to-date gain of about 11%. In fact, the stock is poised to finish the session well atop its 10-day moving average for the first time in more than two weeks. Also of note, the delta for the previously noted front-month calls sits at 0.33, meaning these bullish bets have a 1-in-3 chance of finishing in the money.