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BioMarin investors seek protection

Mike Yamamoto (mike.yamamoto@optionmonster.com)

BioMarin Pharmaceuticals is trading near all-time highs, and investors are apparently looking to protect their gains.

More than 2,100 March 55 puts traded in a strong buying pattern, led by a block of 1,710 that went for $1.45, according to optionMONSTER's Depth Charge system. This is clearly new positioning, as the open interest in the strike was just 64 contracts before the session began.

BMRN rose 1.32 percent to $55.92 yesterday, a week after reaching a lifetime high of $57.66 on Feb. 19. The drug developer surged on Friday after beating earnings and revenue estimates, and the shares held up relatively well through Monday's broad market decline.

The puts purchased yesterday, which lock in the selling price for the stock no matter how low it might fall, were not tied to any stock trades identified by our systems. But given how far the shares have run, the options were likely bought to protect long positions established sometime earlier. (See our Education section)

Total option volume in the name was 2,274 contracts, more than 8 times its daily average for the last month. Only 72 calls changed hands, a reflection of the session's bearish sentiment.

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