Thursday, August 12, 2010

T. Boone Pickens No Score: Clean Energy Fuels Settling Back While Call Buyers Proliferate (CLNE)

This one should be a natural for me to follow. It is as much an example of Political Capitalism as it is a business, and seeing that I hang out at the intersection of money and politics it should be a case study.
Instead I am bored by Boone and his machinations.

The company reported a smaller loss on Monday but the news did nothing to stem the erosion of the stock price. Last trade $15.53, down 36 cents.
Here's the earnings call transcript and here's Schaeffer's Research on the options action:

Traders are taking sides on Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (CLNE) and Star Scientific, Inc. (CIGX). Calls were popular on CLNE yesterday, while puts were the options of choice on CIGX -- extending a recent trend for both securities.
Clean Energy Fuels Corp.
CLNE drew unusually heavy call volume on Wednesday, with 2,561 contracts crossing the tape -- about 1.02 times the equity's expected daily call activity. During the course of the session, traders on the International Securities Exchange (ISE) bought to open 1,071 calls on CLNE, compared to just 81 puts. The security's single-day ISE call/put volume ratio of 13.22 highlights a distinct preference for bullish bets over bearish.
The day's optimistic skew was part of a growing trend on the ISE, where CLNE has racked up a 10-day call/put volume ratio of 11.32. This ratio ranks higher than 93% of comparable readings taken during the previous year, revealing that traders on the ISE have purchased calls over puts at a faster clip just 7% of the time.
Zeroing in on the equity's near-term open interest configuration, CLNE's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) stands at a relatively tame 0.73, in the 46th annual percentile. While this reading is tilted ever so slightly toward the bullish end of the spectrum, it seems that upbeat sentiment is still far from climactic levels among near-term options players.
CLNE OI configAccordingly, it was a December-dated strike that commanded most of the call-buying attention on Wednesday, as call players concentrated their efforts at CLNE's December 20 strike. This out-of-the-money option saw 1,108 contracts change hands yesterday, with the majority trading at the ask price. Open interest rose overnight by 271 contracts, confirming that new calls were added here.
In fact, in the August series, it's a put option that holds the title of most heavily populated strike. CLNE's August 16 strike is home to peak put open interest of 3,968 contracts; meanwhile, peak call open interest consists of just 3,532 contracts at the August 17 strike. CLNE is currently trading just shy of $16, so front-month traders are favoring at-the-money puts and out-of-the-money calls....MORE