Buyers seek holiday gift from Express

optionMONSTER

Express hit an all-time low yesterday as it continued an eight-month descent, but some traders apparently believe that the fashion retailer is ready for a bounce in this holiday shopping season.

More than 2,000 December 10 calls traded with a bullish bias yesterday, led by two blocks of 750 that were bought for $1.25 and $1.30, according to optionMONSTER's Heat Seeker tracking system. Open interest in the strike was a mere 3 contracts at the beginning of the day, so these were clearly new positions.

EXPR fell 1.03 percent yesterday to close at $10.58 after dipping to $10.47 earlier in the session, its lowest intraday price since going public in May 2010. The shares have lost 60 percent of their value since hitting a 52-week high of $26.27 in mid-March and gapped down from above $15 on Oct. 2 after lowering third-quarter guidance.

Yesterday's call buyers are looking for EXPR to gain roughly 7 percent by expiration in mid-December, just a few days before Christmas. The options could be sold earlier if their premiums rise with any stock rally before then.

Overall option volume in the name was more than 4 times its daily average. Calls outnumbered puts by 4 to 1.

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