Have seen quite a pick up in option activity in recent days in Gilead Sciences (GILD). Yesterday over 10,000 March $67.5 calls were purchased at various prices up to $.95 (closed today at $1.10). Today, saw almost the same amount of the Jan 31st weekly $64.5 calls bought at prices centered around $.48 (closed slightly above that level). Other assorted call option strikes also saw buy interest in the volume range of approx. 2,500 contracts each. By contrast very few puts traded with the largest flow of about 1,000 contracts in any strike out to regular February expiration.
GILD has been range bound between $62-$68 for the entirety of the past year. The stock has a 4% dividend yield that is supported by a cash horde of over $20 billion. They have largely sat out the M&A frenzy of purchasing speculative biotech companies in hopes of better diversifying their product pipeline. Their only notable action was a joint venture with a European partner. Gilead has a new CEO in place as we enter 2020, so their appears to be some hope (anticipation??) that he will jump start growth to augment their large (but mature) flagship product offerings in Hepatitis C and HIV medications.
Option activity seems to be hoping for that outcome. Earnings set to be released on Feb 4th.