November 21, 2014 / 9:48 PM / 3 years ago

GameStop attracts bearish options bets after weak results hit shares

The GameStop store sign is seen at its shop in Westminster, Colorado January 14, 2014. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

NEW YORK (Reuters) - GameStop Corp’s (GME.N) shares fell 13 percent on Friday, a day after the company posted disappointing quarterly results, and its options attracted bearish bets as traders appeared to be preparing for a further slide in the share price over coming months.

Shares of GameStop, the world’s largest retailer of video game products, closed down $5.68 at $37.86 on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange and contracts volume on its options surged to 104,000, or seven times the norm.

On Thursday, GameStop spooked investors by reporting results well below analysts’ estimates, hurt by a delay in the release of its “Assassin’s Creed Unity” video game and flagging videogame software sales.

A large options spread with 16,200 GameStop puts each at the $33 and $37 strike prices, set to expire on Jan. 17, traded on Friday.

It appears that the trader was rolling forward a position in the puts at the $37 strike price, possibly opened in early October, to a lower strike price, said Fred Ruffy, options strategist at WhatsTrading.com.

If so, the action expresses concerns about additional losses for the video game retailer over the next few months, Ruffy said.

GameStop puts outnumbered calls on Friday by a ratio of 3.5:1, well toward the higher end of its range this year, according to Trade Alert data.

A relatively high put-to-call ratio typically signals a bearish sentiment for the stock.

GameStop shares have lost more than a fifth of their value for the year-to-date, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed; editing by Gunna Dickson

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