Crazy Option Action: Expedia (EXPE), Himax Technologies (HIMX), Alibaba Group (BABA), ChemoCentryx (CCXI)

It’s been a pretty solid day of interesting, and very unusual option trades. There have been several unusual put buys but we’ll focus on the call buys as usual here at California Examiner. And we won’t disappoint, there’s been several interesting call buys so far! Four of the most unusual or large call buys today have been seen in Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE), Himax Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:HIMX), Alibaba Group Holding (NYSE:BABA), and in ChemoCentryx Inc (CCXI).

Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE) is seeing VERY heavy call buying action today and we’ve seen several large blocks bought at one time.  Several savvy (insiders?) traders hit EXPE calls hard this morning. The first was 7,000 of the November $92.50 calls bought at $2.95.  Then a trader bought 2,200+ November $90 calls at $3.80, and then another big buy of 7500 November $92.50 calls were bought at the BID of $2.84.  That’s some hefty buying worth a total of well over $5 million.  Clearly these guys know something about Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE), that the rest of us don’t, yet. Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE) announces earnings on October 30, but we suspect we’ll hear some interesting news on the stock before then.

expedia-logoExpedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE) is up $1.61 to $88.19 so far today.

Himax Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:HIMX) which is no stranger to large, interesting call buys over the past year, saw a very large unusual call buy today.  Of course the previous large call buy was a complete loss, so hopefully this trader got it right this time.The trader bought 13,000 of the HIMX October 31st $10.50 calls, paying 70 cents for them.   That makes for a transaction value of almost $1 Million.

Himax Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:HIMX) is currently trading at $10.28 up 46 cents on the day on much heavier volume than the norm.  HIMX has a 52 week high of $16.15 and a low of $5.70 for the year.  It’s traded 6 million shares today so far, and normal daily volume is 5.4 million shares on average.  We’d venture a guess that an analyst is about to bump their rating and price target this week.

The third unusual call buy we saw was in Alibaba Group Holding (NYSE:BABA).  This newly minted stock is no stranger to volatility.  Today, a trader bought 1,400 of the October $87.50 calls in BABA.  They paid $4.50 per contract on the trade. That makes for a good sized bet on BABA, worth $630,000.

Naturally, Alibaba Group Holding (NYSE:BABA) is trading up today, at $90.05, up $1.30 so far.  BABA has a 52 week high of $99.70 and a low of $86.62.  Certainly a candidate for an analyst upgrade or new coverage and a big fat price target.

We like to save the best for last, and the most unusual call buy so far today was in ChemoCentryx Inc (CCXI).  A wise trader bought 1,000 of the February $5.00 calls, paying $1.10 at the ask.  Clearly this is not a huge bet, but it’s out of the norm for this chemo drug stock.  The value of the trade is $110,000.  We’re betting this guy has some nice juicy inside knowledge on this one.  Is it an FDA approval, some sort of trial update, or an upgrade?  We don’t know, but this trader almost certainly does.

ChemoCentryx Inc (CCXI) is currently trading at $4.68, up 17 cents so far after hitting a high of $4.82 on the day.  We like this trade a lot and are nibbling.