Unusual Options Activity: Ford Motors (F)

Bet on continued drop in shares.

A number of bearish options trades were made against Ford Motors (F) recently, as the company reported lower-than-expected sales. Of all the options trades, the November 15th $8 puts saw the most action, with over 44,000 contracts trade, for a 63-fold surge in volume from a prior 700 contracts.

That bet, expiring in about six weeks, will move in-the-money if shares drop just fifty cents, or about 6 percent from here.

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  • Ford announced that its auto sales dropped 4.9 percent, largely on a big drop in demand for its F-Series pickup truck, one of the company’s most popular lines. The global automotive manufacturer also retrenched its business in India with a joint venture there.

    Action to take: Although the company looks conventionally attractive at 7 times earnings, automobiles are a heavily cyclical industry and economic data suggests a slowdown right now, which could hit the sector even harder than the current drop. Although the company is iconic and its products still popular, and while it’s the best-managed of the U.S. carmakers, now isn’t the time to buy.

    Speculators may want to get on board with a put option trade. Besides the November option that garnered the most volume in trading, a lot of activity also occurred in June 2020 $7 puts. That longer timeframe of 260 days gives more time for shares to continue their decline. At only $0.39 or $39 per contract, it’s a cheap way to bet on a further drop in shares.