by Option Review - September 28th, 2012 2:06 pm
Today’s tickers: FB, TPX & ACN
FB - Facebook, Inc. – Shares in the largest social networking company are bucking the trend today, trading up 6.7% on the day at $21.68 as of 11:50 a.m. in New York. Trading traffic in weekly options on Facebook this morning suggests some traders are positioning for shares in the name to extend gains in the near term. The company yesterday launched a new gift-giving feature that allows users to buy items for friends without exiting the site. Traders anticipating continued gains the share price next week snapped up more than 2,000 calls at the Oct. 05 ’12 $21 strike for an average premium of $0.83 apiece this morning. Intraday moves in the price of the underlying now finds premium required to purchase the $21 strike call has nearly doubled since then to $1.20 apiece as of 12:40 p.m. ET. Buyers stepped in to get long the Oct. 05 ’12 $21.5 and $22 strike weekly calls, as well. It looks like traders picked up more than 1,800 calls at each strike, paying average premiums of $0.50 and $0.31 apiece, on average, respectively. Fresh interest is also building in far out-of-the-money weekly calls with $22.5 and $23 striking prices. Traders paid an average premium of $0.21 apiece to buy roughly 200 of the $22.5 strike calls and plunked down $0.12 in premium to purchase some 240 of the $23 strike call options. Call buyers may see the value of their contracts increase if Facebook’s shares continue to push higher during the next five trading sessions. Intraday price action in FB shares has already moved the needle in favor of early-bird call buyers who now hold bullish options that have doubled in value in some cases since this morning.
TPX - Tempur-Pedic International, Inc.– News that memory-foam mattress maker, Tempur-Pedic International, Inc., agreed to purchase Sealy Corp. sent shares in TPX up sharply on Thursday and spurred some upside call buying…
by Option Review - November 30th, 2011 1:24 pm
Today’s tickers: INTC, S & ACN
INTC - Intel Corp. – A spate of buying activity in Intel Corp. call options this morning suggests some options strategists are positioning for substantial bullish movement in the price of the underlying over the next four to five months. Shares in Intel are certainly heading higher today, with the stock currently up 5.5% to stand at $24.86 as of 12:10 PM in New York. Fresh prints in March 2012 contract calls indicate investors may profit if Intel’s shares rally to their highest level in at least five years. Traders taking a bullish stance on the chip maker picked up more than 4,200 calls at the Mar. 2012 $28 strike for an average premium of $0.43 each. Like-minded optimists paid an average premium of $0.28 per contract to purchase roughly 9,100 calls at the higher Mar. 2012 $29 strike, as well. Investors long the call options may profit at March expiration in the event that Intel’s shares surge 14.4% and 17.8% to surpass the average breakeven prices of $28.43 and $29.28, respectively. Looking out to options expiring in April 2012, it appears some 8,800 calls changed hands at the $29 strike against open interest of 2,037 contracts. Investors purchased most of these contracts for an average premium of $0.45 a-pop. Finally, short-term bulls are dabbling in Intel Corp. weekly calls. It looks like investors that got in ahead of the week’s rally are taking profits off the table today. Open interest patterns in the Dec. ’02 $24 strike suggest traders purchased around 3,500 of the calls for an average premium of $0.10 each one day prior to Thanksgiving. This morning these calls were sold roughly 3,500 times for an average premium of $0.64 each, or approximate one-week gains of 540%.
S - Sprint Nextel Corp. – Shares in the wireless carrier joined in on the broad market rally today, rising 3.6% to $2.59 in early-afternoon trade. However, a large transaction in weekly puts on the stock indicates one strategist is prepared should the music stop. It looks like the investor purchased around 27,000 puts at the Dec. ’02 $2.5 strike for a premium of $0.07 apiece. The trader may profit at expiration this week if shares in Sprint Nextel Corp. drop 6.2% from the current price of $2.59 to breach the effective breakeven point at $2.43. Immediate-term bearish options activity in the weekly puts contrasts with a much…
by Option Review - July 6th, 2011 5:38 pm
Today’s tickers: KCI, ACN, TM & YZC
KCI - Kinetic Concepts, Inc. – Options on the medical technology company sprang to life this morning on a more than 14.6% move up in the value of its shares to $67.38 the highest shares have traded since 2006. The stock rallied on reports the company is in talks to go private in a leveraged buyout and may be worth around $5 billion excluding debt. Traders populating Kinetic options focused mainly on calls, buying and selling in- and out-of-the-money calls in the July, August and September expiries. Mixed trading patterns observed thus far today contrast with more one-sided open interest patterns in now deep in-the-money July contract call options. Investors who appear to have taken long call positions in June are now holding far more valuable contracts. Open interest patterns in the July $60 and $62.5 strikes, the largest blocks of call open interest on Kinetic Concepts, caught our eye. It looks like traders purchased the majority of the 645 open call positions at the July $62.5 strike during the second half of June for an average premium of $0.19 a-pop. These calls are now more than 21 times as expensive following the sharp rally in the price of the underlying. The July $60 strike call has some 1,700 open positions and it looks as though most of these are long calls purchased in the first week of June at an average premium of $0.68 per contract. In just over four weeks, call buyers have seen the value of their positions sky-rocket up to the current asking price of $6.40 apiece.
ACN - Accenture PLC – Put volume on the global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company jumped today, with more than 45,000 put options having changed hands on the stock by 11:30…
by Option Review - March 8th, 2011 4:40 pm
Today’s tickers: TIVO, PCX, JDSU & ACN
TIVO - TiVo, Inc. – A sizable speculative bullish position was initiated in TiVo options today, though shares in the provider of digital video recording services fell as much as 5.85% at the start of the session to hit an intraday low of $8.53. The large four-legged transaction may be the work of an investor positioning for shares in the name to spike higher should the firm prevail in its legal battle regarding DVR technology against EchoStar and Dish Network. Results of the case are expected in the next couple of months. It looks like three of the four legs of the transaction were sold in order to offset the cost of getting long in-the-money calls expiring in August. The optimistic options player sold 10,000 puts at the August $7.0 strike for a premium of $1.01 each, shed 10,000 calls up at the August $15 strike at a premium of $0.52 apiece, and sold 10,000 calls at the May $20 strike for a premium of $0.06 per contract. The short legs of the trade were marked against the purchase of 10,000 in-the-money calls at the August $8.0 strike for a premium of $2.53 a-pop. Net premium paid to initiate the spread amounts to $0.94 per contract, and prepares the trader to profit should shares in TiVo rally 4.8% over today’s low point of $8.53 to surpass the breakeven price of $8.94 by August expiration. The investor could walk away with hefty maximum potential profits of $6.06 per contract in the event that TIVO’s shares jump 75.85% to trade above $15.00 in the time remaining to expiration. One observation worth mentioning is that the August contract call and put options represent fresh positioning given the tiny levels of previously existing open interest at each strike. But, the fourth leg of the trade, the May $20 strike calls, have more than 41,000 open positions. The trader could be rolling the calls out to the August contract, or closing…
by Phil Davis - September 27th, 2010 7:18 am
Hope springs eternal at Goldman Sachs.
This morning our favorite Banksters goosed the EU markets by upping targets on international mining operators Kazakhmys, Lonmin and BHP and that got the European markets off to a flying start out of the gate, despite the fact that UBS had just DOWNgraded the same sector on Friday. UBS said on Friday that the sector is facing difficult times concerning potential growth with government rulings on mineral leases and the proposed supertax on mining profits in Australia set to hinder metal-based stocks.
We also have a lot of M&A activity, also courtesy of GS, who are leading the resurgence this year with 225 deals to date worth $401.6Bn, accounting for about 20% of all activity going through Goldman’s sticky fingers. In a sign of the times, however, GS only generated $961M in revenues as an M&A advisor as they cut a lot of discounts in order to land the top spot in dealmaking. Although outdealt by GS, MS, Rothchild, JPM and DB all made more in fees than the Uncle Lloyd show.
In a sign of the end of times, GS’s London Headquarters has been taken over by lenders after the owner fell into receivership. GS’s landlord, Antedon, is an offshore real estate firm that bought the building for $500M at the top of the market in 2007 and GS has locked up the building through 2026 at what seems to be not enough money to keep Antedon liquid – it would be very interesting to trace the web of deals that led to this massive default.
Meanwhile, the consortium of Irish investors that own GS’s other London building are also bailing out, this action is coinciding with what Ireland’s Independent says is a campaign by Wall Street Hedge Funds to short sell Irish Government Bonds. US hedge funds Groveland Capital and Corrientes Advisors are thought to have taken major positions against Irish debt. Giant €60bn asset-manager Pictet also revealed that it had earlier bet against Irish government bonds. JP Morgan is also thought to have taken a bearish position on Irish debt. The International Monetary Fund estimated that up to €3bn of Ireland’s debt was being targeted by speculators through the uses of derivatives.
by Option Review - June 25th, 2010 4:25 pm
Today’s tickers: BP, RIMM, ACN, NE, NTGR & XLE
BP – BP PLC – Contrarian options investors itching for a rebound in bruised and battered BP shares initiated three-legged bullish options combination plays today with shares of the underlying stock falling more than 6.15% to $26.97 with less than one hour remaining before the closing bell. BP’s shares touched down at an intraday and 14-year low of $26.92 during the current session. Optimistic traders expecting shares to increase by August expiration sold out-of-the-money put options to partially finance the purchase of debit call spreads. One such bullish individual opted to sell 5,000 puts at the August $20 strike for a premium of $1.41 apiece, buy 5,000 calls at the higher August $30 strike for a premium of $2.37 each, and finally sell 5,000 calls at the August $35 strike for a premium of $0.79 a-pop. The net cost of the combo-play amounts to just $0.17 per contract. Thus, the BP-bull is poised to profit if shares of the oil company rally 11.9% over the current price of $26.97 to surpass the effective breakeven point to the upside at $30.17 by August expiration. The trader walks away with maximum potential profits of $4.83 per contract, or total gains of $2.415 million, if shares of the underlying stock surge 29.8% to trade at or above $35.00 by expiration day. The transaction is a very efficient way to take a bullish stance on BP, but it is not without its risks. If shares remain above $20.00 but fail to rally through $30.00 by expiration the investor merely loses the $0.17 per contract paid to enact the spread. However, if shares plunge 25.85% from the current price to breach the $20.00-level, the investor is obliged to have shares of the underlying stock put to him at $20.00 apiece. This could potentially result in devastating losses depending on how low BP shares could go ahead of expiration day in August.
RIMM – Research in Motion, Ltd. – The blackberry maker’s shares fell as much as 11.15% today, shattering its now defunct 52-week low of $54.30, to attain an intraday- and new 52-week low of $52.05. Blood-letting in RIMM shares accelerated today adding to dismal overall performance in the past several months. Shares of the underlying stock are down 31.5% since March 29 when the stock touched an intraday high of $76.78. RIMM’s shares took a…
by Option Review - December 3rd, 2009 4:12 pm
Today’s tickers: GLD, MTG, ACN, BAC, HUN, PSS, ARO, HUN, APWR & FDO
GLD – SPDR Gold Trust ETF – Surprise, surprise…shares of the gold exchange-traded fund reached another record high by climbing up to $119.42 today. We observed one investor initiate a contrarian play in the January 2010 contract. The trader established a bearish risk reversal by selling 4,000 calls at the January 120 strike for 3.65 apiece, spread against the purchase of 4,000 puts at the same strike for 4.60 each. The net cost of the spread amounts to 95 cents per contract. The trader, if long shares of the underlying, enacted downside protection to hedge against potential declines in the price of gold through expiration in January. Perhaps this investor believes gold has peaked, at least as far as the next couple of months are concerned. In contrast, longer-term trading in the September contract was decidedly bullish. The trader sold 5,750 puts at the September 117 strike for 9.35 apiece in order to finance the purchase of the same number of calls at the higher September 140 strike for an average premium of 5.88 each. The investor banks a net credit of 3.47 per contract on the transaction, which he retains in full as long as shares remain higher than $117.00 through expiration. Additional profits amass if shares jump 17% to surpass the $140-level by expiration in September.
MGT – MGIC Investments Corp. – Bullish investors populated MGIC Investments Corporation with various optimistic option strategies throughout the trading day. Shares surged 20% to $5.10 after its Wisconsin regulator waived minimum capital requirements for two years. This permits the company to continue selling coverage despite nine straight quarterly losses. Investor reacted by picking up nearly 5,000 calls at the now in-the-money December 5.0 strike for an average premium of 30 cents apiece. Call-buyers will profit if MTG’s shares surpass the breakeven price of $5.30 by expiration. Additional bullish transactions appeared in the January 2010 and March 2010 contracts. Optimistic individuals shed 3,000 puts at the January 5.0 strike for 60 cents premium apiece. Investors retain the premium received on the sale if shares remain above $5.00 through January’s expiration day. Put-sellers stand ready to have shares of the underlying stock put to them at an effective price of $4.40 per share if the puts land in-the-money. Finally, another chunk of 5,000 puts were sold at the March 5.0…