Today’s tickers: LVS, RL & C
LVS - Las Vegas Sands Corp. – Shares in the resort casino operator are off to the races today, trading up 5.25% this afternoon at $59.56, after the Company said it will open its new 13.7 million square foot integrated resort, Sands Cotai Central, on April 11. Options traders expecting the shares to continue to hit fresh multi-year highs during the next four trading sessions snapped up weekly call options. The Mar. ’23 $60 strike calls attracted the most action, with nearly 6,000 contracts in play so far today against open interest of 760 positions. It looks like the majority of the calls were purchased for an average premium of $0.32 apiece, thus preparing buyers to profit in the event that shares in Las Vegas Sands rally another 1.3% to top the average breakeven price of $60.32 at expiration. LVS executives are scheduled to present at the J.P. Morgan 2012 Gaming, Lodging, Restaurant and Leisure Management Access Forum in Las Vegas this afternoon at around 2:15 p.m. ET.
RL - Ralph Lauren Corp. – Near-term bearish or perhaps protective positioning in Ralph Lauren put options this morning suggests one trader is prepared for shares in the retailer of high-end apparel and home goods to decline in the next five weeks. Shares in RL currently trade 1.15% lower on the session at $175.70 as of 11:30 a.m. in New York. It looks like the trader purchased a roughly 2,600-lot April $165/$175 put spread at a net premium of $3.00 per contract. The spread may be an outright bearish bet on Ralph Lauren’s near-term share price performance, or could be a protective stance to secure the value of a long position in the stock. Profits, or downside protection, kick in if RL’s shares decline 2.1% to breach the effective breakeven price at $172.00, while maximum possible gains of $7.00 per contract are available to the strategist should the stock drop 6.1% to settle below $165.00 at April expiration. Shares in Ralph Lauren traded below $165.00 as recently as the 7th of February.
C - Citigroup, Inc. – Short-term bullish positioning in Citigroup weekly options, a strategy that has tended to play out well for some investors given near daily gains in the price of the underlying during the past two weeks, continues to be a popular move amongst traders. Shares in the financial services provider are up 4.2% to stand at $38.24 as of 1:00 p.m. in New York. Bullish traders expecting the good times to keep rolling this week piled into long call positions that may be profitable should shares in Citigroup post additional gains. In-the-money calls at the Mar. ’23 $38 strike changed hands more than 8,300 times against 3,109 open positions, with the majority of the contracts purchased for an average premium of $0.44 each. Call buying dominated activity in the Mar. $39 and $40 strike prices, as well. Upwards of 7,000 call options traded at each strike, with average premiums running at $0.24 and $0.11 apiece, respectively. Weekly call buyers may find the value of their options much improved in the event that Citigroup’s shares extend their upside move during the next four trading sessions. Citigroup is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings four weeks from today, ahead of the opening bell on April 16.