3 Stocks Options Traders Should Be Targeting

SQ, ENPH, and GRUB all have high SVS'

by Patrick Martin

Published on Jul 31, 2020 at 11:30 AM

Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) is a lagging indicator that measures a stock's realized volatility against the volatility expectations priced into that stock's options over the past year. The goal is to find which stocks have been the best -- and worst -- for premium buyers. The SVS is a very useful tool for premium sellers too, as “the worst” for a premium buyer can be construed as “the best” for a premium seller.

Using our robust historical database, we conduct extensive research on each underlying equity and determined which of those underlying equities’ options have historically had underpriced or overpriced options. We rank each equity’s options relative to the others in our universe, with scores ranging from zero to 100. For more information on how to use these scores, please review instructions following the scorecard.

Below is deeper dive into three stocks that showed up on our comprised list; payments processing specialist Square Inc (NYSE:SQ), clean energy stock Enphase Energy Inc (NASDAQ:ENPH), and food delivery service GrubHub Inc (NYSE:GRUB).

What's the uniting thread between these three unique stocks? Right now SQ, ENPH, and GRUB all boast SVS' of 98, 100, and 96, respectively. In simpler terms, all three stocks have tended to exceed option traders' volatility expectations during the past year, a good thing for option buyers.

At last check, SQ was up 3.4% to trade at $127.75, a chip-shot from its July 9 record high of $133.81. The shares have almost quadrupled off their March 18 lows of $32.33, and have more than doubled year-to-date. During this channel of higher highs, the ascending equity's 20-day moving average has stepped as admirable support

Daily Stock Chart SQ

A short squeeze could be fueling the gains. Short interest fell off by 13.8% in the two most recent reporting period, yet still accounts for a healthy 8.2% of SQ's total available float. The security could also benefit from a shift in analyst sentiment, as 22 of the 35 in coverage still rate it a "hold" or worse.

Switching over to ENPH, the California-based solar energy name was last seen up 3.6% at $59.32. Like Square, Enphase stock has also more than doubled in 2020, but remain a ways off their May 19 record high of $70.36.

Daily Stock Chart ENPH

Enphase shorts have been headed for the exits, down 5.7% in the two most recent reporting periods. Yet that 11.63 million shares sold short still takes up 10.1% of ENPH's total available float, so a continued exodus of bearish bets could keep the wind at the equity's back.

And lastly there's GrubHub stock, which at last check was up 1.4% at $71.06. GRUB is up 109% in the last nine months, with its 30-day moving average containing the last month's consolidation on the charts. 

Daily Stock Chart GRUB

Now looks like a good time to get in on GrubHub with options, too. Despite its July 30 earnings report, GRUB's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 50% ranks in the 10th percentile of its annual range. This suggests options players have been pricing in relatively low volatility expectations of late. 

This article is an updated column that originally appeared on Stocknews.com.


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