Monday, October 06, 2014

Implied Volatility and BioPharm failures; ADHD & SNSS

The two stocks with the highest option implied volatility trading this year released results today. The 2 Stocks were; ADHD and SNSS, two biopharma stocks that had implied volatility over 300% and in the days leading to the announcement of their phase III results implied vol spiked to over 500%.

Today the results came out and both companies disappointed. Both stocks gapped lower. ADHD is down aronud 54% at $6.42 currently and SNSS is down 76% at $1.60 currently. If you happened to listen to the conference call of ADHD this moring, Piper Jaffray was the first to ask questions and they first congratulated the company on the results and came out later saying that they reiterate a buy with a target of $42. This can be very confusing for investors to hear, but the price of the stock doesn't lie. Quote from Piper Jaffray from

The days leading up to the announcement ADHD stock was zig zagging up and down 15% a day. The stock was a big gamble, with around a 6 million share float, it was poised for a large move on the news release. I don't know who in the world would be buying or shorting shares ahead of the news release.

The real money to be made was in the options. The OTM $40 calls on ADHD were trading at over $1 the previous trading day and now they will expire worthless, The stock would have had to spike around 300% in order for you to take any heat on the trade. Meanwhile the $5 puts were trading over $0.50 the previous day and now are going for around $0.20. The ideal trade on this stock was selling the strangle ($5 puts and $40 calls).

Something to note leading up to the press release was the short sale ban imposed by some brokers (ie. Interactive Brokers) and the price drop leading up the final days before the news release. One can speculate that the only person that would short a stock with pending phase III  results was doing so with knowledge of what the outcome was. Here are some charts and numbers.

The option chain the day prior to the release of news for ADHD -

The option chain the day of the release of news for ADHD

If you thought you could sell the OTM calls at the open, you couldn't, the market makers aren't that dumb. The OTM calls all opened with 0 bid and 0.05 offer.

As the day progresses, the available short shares available at IB shrinks along with the stock price.

ADHD Borrow rates leading up to the news release.

Short Strangle ($5 puts and $40 calls) chart-


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