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Calls bet DryShips is ready to set sail

Mike Yamamoto (mike.yamamoto@optionmonster.com)

Bullish traders got onboard DryShips as the beaten-down stocked soared on Friday with signs of a turnaround among small shippers.

More than 8,500 January 2 calls traded in a strong buying pattern, with premiums rising from $0.02 to $0.21 throughout the day, according to optionMONSTER's Heat Seeker system. The volume was more than double the strike's open interest of 4,212 at the beginning of the day, indicating that this was new activity.

DRYS gained steadily throughout the session to close at $2.17, up 25.43 percent on stock volume that was 8 times higher than average. The company plunged to an all-time low of $1.46 in mid-November after reporting its last quarterly results, saying the industry remains " severely depressed ."   

The stock finished 2012 at $1.60 but has been gaining since then with a bounce in the Baltic Dry Index, which reflects the cost of shipping raw materials. Shipping companies rose 11 percent on Friday, making it the day's best-performing group on researchLAB as shown in the screenshot at right.

Friday's long calls , which lock in the price where traders can buy shares, are looking for DRYS to stay above $2 through expiration in less than two weeks. Many of those contracts are already in the money , as they purchased early in the session when the stock was trading well below that strike price. (See our Education section)

Friday's trading drove total volume in the name to 31,251 options, 24 times higher than its daily average of 1,310 contracts. Calls outnumbered puts by nearly 3.5 to 1.

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