Stock Alert: ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc Realized Volatility Hits A Lowered Level

ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc (NASDAQ:ZIOP) Realized Volatility Hits A Lowered Level

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Stock Alert - But Not What You Might Think
Before we cover the full analysis we make a quick alert here that ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc (NASDAQ:ZIOP) has seen its stock price move at a lowered level. We'll go through the details below -- but that's the lede -- the stock has been unusally quiet. If there was a post it note to summarize the stock movement in the last 30-days it would likely read "quiet time... too quiet?" The HV20 is 50.54% verus the HV20 of the S&P 500 at 4.84%.

Another bit to this alert of quiet time, which we cover in the article, is that while the historical volatility may be a lowered level, the real question that needs to be answered for option traders is not if the HV20 is low, but rather if the implied volatility that is priced for the next 30-days accuratley reflects what we're about to see in the stock for the next month.

To jump forward and examine if owning or shorting options has been a positive trade in ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc, you can go here: Getting serious about option trading.

This is a proprietary realized volatility rating created by Capital Market Laboratories (CMLviz) based on a large number of data interactions for ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc (NASDAQ:ZIOP) . We examine the little used gem of daily stock volatility over a 20-day and 30-day trading period, as well as comparisons to the last year and the actual stock returns over the last three- and six-months and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 indices.

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As a heads up, in the "Why This Matters" section at the end of this article on ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc (NASDAQ:ZIOP) , we're going to take a step back and show really clearly that there is actually a lot less "luck" in successful option trading than most people are aware of. This idea of an "option trading expert" is vastly over complicated so those with the information advantage can continue to profit at the expense of the rest.

But before that, let's turn back to ZIOP. Here are the exact steps that led us to this rating, and whether it's a risk alert or a holding pattern.

ZIOP Recent Realized Volatility

Realized volatility using proprietary measures has hit a lowered level.

Volatility Alert
ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc is a small cap biotechnology-pharmaceutical company with very small revenue. This reality, in and of itself, makes ZIOP susceptible to excessive risk as the stock may vascillate based on drug trial results, FDA decisions, new government pricing rules, and especially takeover rumors.

We also note that ZIOP has negative GAAP earnings in the last year which makes it ever more susceptible to stock volatility. Here is a rolling annual volatility chart of the biotech index (IBB) versus the Nasdaq 100 and the S&P 500. Note how elevated the biotechnology sector volatility is (the pink curve) relative to the S&P 500.

While stocks with ZIOP's profile see a short-term quiet period, this is also one of those times when a shake out volatility move could be on the horizon. Let's take a deep dive into some institutional level volatility measures for ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc (NASDAQ:ZIOP) .

ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc Stock Performance
ZIOP is down -15.4% over the last three months and down -16.1% over the last six months. The stock has returned -7.4% over the last year. The current stock price is $5.37.

ZIOP Step 1: Stock Returns
The one-year stock return does not impact the volatility rating since we are looking at a shorter time horizon. However, the rating does examine the 3-month returns and the absolute difference between the 3-month and 6-month returns.

  The 3-month stock return of -15.4% has a small impact on the realized volatility rating for ZIOP.
  The small difference between the 3-month and 6-month stock returns does not impact the realized volatility rating for ZIOP.

ZIOP Step 2: Daily Realized Volatility Level
The HV30® takes the stock's day to day historical volatility over the last 30-days and then annualizes it. The HV20 looks back over just 20-days -- a shorter time period. Here is the breakdown for ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc (NASDAQ:ZIOP) and how the day-by-day realized historical volatilities have impacted the rating:

  The HV20 of 39.3% is in the middle ground, neither elevated nor depressed, so in this case the raw HV20 number has no impact on ZIOP's volatility rating.

ZIOP Step 3: ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc HV20 Compared to Indices
* The HV20 for ZIOP is substantially larger than that for both the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ 100 which raises the volatility rating.

* The HV20 for ZIOP is substantially larger than that for the Health Care ETF (XLV) which raises the volatility rating.

Here is summary data in tabular and chart format.

   S&P 500
   NASDAQ 100
           39.3%    4.84%    12.4%    5.87%

ZIOP Step 4: Daily Volatility Percentiles and Highs

We also examine the annual high of the HV30 in our rating.
  The 52 week high in HV30 for ZIOP is 90.3%, which is high and has an upward impact on the realized volatility rating.

Here is summary data in tabular and chart format.

HV30 High   
           39.3%    50.5%    90.3%

Final Realized Volatility Percentile Level: ZIOP
The final evolution of the volatility rating for ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc is a comparison of the HV30 value relative to its past, which is neatly summarized in the percentile -- a scoring mechanism that goes from a low of 1 to a high of 100.

  The HV30 percentile for ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc is 7%, which means the stock has seen very low volatility in its price movement relative to its own past and that has a dampening impact on the realized volatility rating.

ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc Realized Volatility Percentiles