Thursday, March 22, 2012

The IMOS Saga, Cramer and Options

I must admit that when I first posted about ChipMOS Technologies (Bermuda) LTD (IMOS) two weeks ago, it never occurred to me that there might be a follow-up post and certainly not two more chapters to the story, yet here we are.

For a while it looked to me like the spike in IMOS had run its course on Tuesday, right about the time I wrote IMOS Up 54% in Two Weeks; IV Still Lags HV. By the end of that day, the stock was in the midst of apparently finding some post-pullback equilibrium in which the wild price action could devolve into some sort of consolidation.

That scenario received a modest jolt last night when a caller asked Jim Cramer during Cramer’s ‘Lightning Round’ feature for the Mad Money maven’s opinion on IMOS. Now I thought Cramer had never met a stock he didn’t have an opinion on, but apparently the gist of his response was that he would have to do some research before he provided some commentary and a thumbs up or down.

Of course we have no way of knowing what sort of take Cramer might have on IMOS, but already one Seeking Alpha contributor has stepped up to make the bull case in Jim Cramer – Here’s What You Need to Know About ChipMOS.

Regardless of what Cramer decrees, he is bound to generate some additional interest in IMOS. If history is any guide, his commentary has a good chance of substantially moving the stock.

All this brings me back to my initial post, IMOS Breaks Out, But Implied Volatility Fails to React. Even if the prospect of Cramer weighing in might not necessarily have a directional impact on the stock, you would think that options investors might treat the upcoming Cramer pronouncement (and I am assuming he will follow through on his promise to offer an opinion) as likely to trigger an increase in volatility. Much to my surprise, however, IMOS’s 30-day implied volatility is down 6.1% today and currently sits 17 points below the comparable 20-day historical volatility. The two day price and implied volatility chart below shows that while IV did spike right after today’s open, it has since been trending down.

As was the case two weeks ago, once again I suspect that IV is understating the future movement in this stock, but this time around I am going to be a spectator rather than a participant. Someone out there, however, should be enjoying this ride.

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