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Appetite For Whole Foods Calls As Shares Rebound

Whole Foods Market Inc. (Ticker: WFM) shares are on the mend this morning, up more than 2.0% at $52.60 as of 11:00 a.m. EST, after yesterday losing more than 7.0% on the heels of a weaker than expected first-quarter earnings report released on Wednesday after the close.  

Upside call buying in the regular March expiry options on WFM this morning looks for shares in the organic and natural foods grocer to continue to rebound during the next five weeks to expiration. The Mar $52.5 strike calls traded more than 6,000 times against open interest of roughly 2,000 contracts, with the bulk of the volume purchased at an average premium of $1.44 each. Traders long the calls stand ready to profit at expiration next month should shares in Whole Foods rise 2.5% over the current price of $52.60 to exceed the average breakeven point at $53.94. Shares in Whole Foods are down roughly 20% since trading up to an eight-year high of $65.59 back on October 28th

Shares in weight management solutions provider Weight Watchers International, Inc. (Ticker: WTW) dropped 27% on Friday to a new four-year low of $22.35 after the company yesterday reported fourth-quarter earnings that missed analyst estimates and forecast earnings for fiscal 2014 below average analyst expectations.

The most traded options contracts by volume on Weight Watchers during the first 90 minutes of the session suggests some traders are positioning for the price of the underlying to continue lower in the near term. The Feb $20 strike puts are the most active on WTW as of the time of this writing, with upwards of 9,000 puts in play against open interest of 444 contracts. Time and sales data indicates most of the puts were purchased for an average premium of $0.40 each in the early going. Put buyers stand ready to profit at expiration next week in the event that shares in Weight Watchers decline another 14% from the current price of $22.91 to trade below the average breakeven point at $19.60. Shares in Weight Watchers last traded below $19.60 in April of 2009. 


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