by Option Review - January 24th, 2013 1:48 pm
by Option Review - August 22nd, 2012 1:08 pm
Today’s tickers: BKD, CHS & LMT
BKD - Brookdale Senior Living, Inc. – The operator of retirement communities and assisted living facilities may be rallying in sympathy with Sunrise Senior Living, Inc. after that company agreed to be acquired by Health Care REIT, Inc., in an all-cash deal valued at $1 billion or $14.50 a share. Brookdale’s shares are currently up better than 8% on the day and more than 25% year-to-date; trading at a fresh 52-week high of $21.52 just before 12:00 p.m. EDT. Options on BKD are far more active than usual today, with volume exceeding 2,200 contracts versus the stock’s 90-day average daily options volume of 243 contracts. Most of the trading traffic in Brookdale options is in the Jan. 2013 $20 strike put where 2,010 lots changed hands against zero open positions. Time and sales on the trading indicates one strategist sold 1,700 of the put options at a premium of $1.25 apiece in the first hour of the trading session. The put seller keeps the full amount of premium received on the transaction as long as shares in Brookdale settle above $20.00 at January expiration. The trader could wind up having 170,000 shares of the underlying put to him at an effective price of $18.75 each in the event the contracts land in-the-money at expiration.
CHS - Chico’s FAS, Inc. – Shares in women’s apparel and accessories retailer, Chico’s FAS, Inc., jumped 8.8% to a multi-year high of $18.58 after reporting better-than-expected second-quarter earnings and sales ahead of the opening bell this morning. The clothing company also raised the low end of its prior forecast for full year 2012 revenue, helping the stock rally to the highest intraday price since August 2007. Options traders positioning for shares in the retailer to extend gains during the next five months snapped up around 700 calls at the Jan. 2013 $21 strike for an average premium of $0.60 apiece today. Call buyers may…
by Option Review - May 14th, 2012 1:48 pm
Today’s tickers: GRPN, DLTR & CHS
GRPN - Groupon, Inc. – Shares in Groupon are up 11.11% at $11.00 today on expectations the company may report better-than-expected first-quarter earnings after the final bell. Options on the stock are quite active as well, but not all of the positioning is looking for a positive earnings surprise tonight. Fresh interest building in the June expiry puts portends potential fresh record lows for the shares in the near future. One-by-two June $7.0/$9.0 ratio put spreads purchased this morning position traders to profit from limited bearish movement in the price of the underlying during the next five weeks. Of the more than 3,300 put options in play at the June $7.0 and $9.0 strikes, the largest blocks of options changing hands are the purchase of 486 $9.0 strike puts spread against the sale of 972 $7.0 strike options, done at a net premium outlay of $0.33 per contract. The ratio spread may be a profitable strategy should Groupon’s shares drop 21.1% to slip beneath the effective breakeven point at $8.67. Maximum possible profits of $1.67 per contract are available on the positions if shares in the name drop 36.4% to settle at $7.00 at June expiration. Groupon’s shares on Friday traded down to an all-time low of $9.63.
DLTR - Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. – Bearish options are in play on Dollar Tree, Inc. this morning ahead of the discount consumer goods retailer’s first-quarter earnings report on Thursday. Shares in Dollar Tree are currently down 1.5% at $101.05 as of 12:50 in New York. It looks like the investor buying a sizable debit put spread on DLTR this morning paid an average net premium of $3.31 per contract for a roughly 3,000-lot June $85/$100 spread. The position makes money if shares in…
by Option Review - March 20th, 2012 1:23 pm
Today’s tickers: TIF, KORS & CHS
TIF - Tiffany & Co. – Options on the world’s second-largest luxury jewelry retailer are mixed today, with much of the action centering in the front month calls and puts. The day’s volume, currently at 21,500 contracts as of 11:35 a.m. in New York, is more than twice the stock’s 90-day average volume of 9,971 options. The pick-up in options activity arrives on the heels of the Company’s fourth-quarter results and full-year earnings guidance ahead of the opening bell. The jeweler’s full-year earnings forecast at $4.05 per share beat analyst expectations, sending the price of the underlying up as much as 8.0% on Tuesday morning to $74.20. The sharp rally in Tiffany’s shares is a move one strategist had been positioning for last week. It appears the investor initiated a bull call spread back on Monday March 12, buying the April $70/$75 spread roughly 3,500 times at an average net premium of $1.54 per contract. The rise in open interest at both strikes in the days that followed may mean the trader added to the position last week. The bullish play on the jeweler is working out so far, with the shares well above an estimated breakeven share price of $71.54 on the spread. The trader walks away with maximum available profits as long as Tiffany’s shares move up another 1.1% over today’s high of $74.20 to top $75.00 at expiration next month.
KORS - Michael Kors Holdings, Ltd. – The number of open options positions on Michael Kors Holdings, Ltd., as measured by open interest of 30,337 total contracts, is roughly 65.0% comprised of call positions. The preponderance of open KORS calls versus puts was heightened yesterday by one large transaction involving roughly 10,200 far out-of-the-money front month calls. The Company…
by Option Review - February 22nd, 2012 1:52 pm
Today’s tickers: PG, CHS & FIRE
PG - Procter & Gamble Co. – A burst of call buying in the weekly options on consumer products giant Procter & Gamble appears to be a sizable bullish bet that shares will rally heading into the weekend. Shares in PG are up 0.30% today at $64.61 ahead of the Consumer Analyst Group of New York Conference in Boca Raton, Florida on Thursday. Statements from P&G’s top management, particularly regarding details of the Company’s cost cutting plans, could move the stock tomorrow. The investor or investors responsible for exchanging more than 16,000 calls at the Feb. ’24 $65 strike against open interest of 2,037 contracts for an average premium of $0.15 each, may profit at expiration should shares settle above the average breakeven price of $65.15.
CHS - Chico’s FAS, Inc. – Bullish traders who purchased Chico’s call options in advance of the retailer’s positive earnings surprise on Wednesday, in some cases, doubled their money overnight. Shares in the seller of women’s clothing and accessories rallied as much as 15.5% to $14.80 this morning after the Company beat top- and bottom-line fourth quarter estimates, and forecast higher than expected full year sales of $2.5 billion. Options players speculating shares in Chico’s could surge after earnings snapped up call options in the front month that today trade at substantially higher premiums. One strategist appears to have purchased around 1,400 calls at the Mar. $14 strike for a premium of $0.25 each yesterday afternoon. The sharp rise in CHS shares this morning now has the $14 strike calls trading at more than twice that amount, with a last traded price of $0.70. Call selling at the $14 strike today may represent profit taking on the position. Meanwhile, fresh call selling up at the April $15…
by Option Review - December 23rd, 2011 2:43 pm
Commentary to resume Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Today’s tickers: LVS, MNTA, CHS & KLIC
LVS - Las Vegas Sands Corp. – Bullish action in Las Vegas Sands call options this morning indicates one strategist is betting shares in the casino resort operator will rally sharply in the first couple of months of 2012. Shares today rose 1.15% to $43.24 by 12:45 PM in New York, on the final trading session before the Christmas holiday. The investor positioning for big gains in the price of the underlying next year purchased a bull call spread, buying 2,000 calls at the Feb. 2012 $46 strike, and selling the same number of calls at the Feb. 2012 $50 strike, all for a net premium outlay of $1.05 per contract. Profits are available on the spread in the event that shares in LVS climb 8.8% to top the effective breakeven price of $47.05 at expiration. The bullish player may walk away with maximum potential profits of $2.95 per contract as long as the casino resort company’s shares jump 15.6% to settle above $50.00 at expiration in February. Las Vegas Sands Corp.’s shares last traded above $50.00 back on September 21, but haven’t closed above $50.00 since February 3, 2011. The call spread may be the trader’s limited-risk, limited-reward play on the stock ahead of its fourth-quarter earnings report on February 2, 2012. A positive surprise from the Company may result in substantial profits to the call-spreader should shares in LVS move up toward the $50.00 level.
MNTA - Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – Shares in the biotechnology company moved up 7.0% overnight to $18.20 ahead of a 10:00 AM EST conference call held to discuss the recently announced collaboration with Baxter International, Inc. to develop and commercialize products called biosimilars. Baxter will reportedly pay Momenta Pharmaceuticals $33 million in cash up front and may make additional payments in years to come. Put activity on Momenta may be the work of one trader locking in the rally in case the stock should pull back…
by Option Review - December 22nd, 2011 1:25 pm
Today’s tickers: USB, V, USG & CHS
USB - U.S. Bancorp – Financials extended gains Thursday and appear on track to wrap up the week on a positive note. Shares in U.S. Bancorp joined in on the rally to trade 1.75% higher at $27.28 as of 12:05 PM in New York, though its shares haven’t climbed quite like those of sector heavyweights Citigroup, JPMorgan and Bank of America today. Earlier in the week we noted a bearish transaction on USB in the Mar. 2012 contract that appeared to be the purchase of 10,000 $28 strike calls tied to the sale of 320,000 shares of the underlying. The position may be profitable if shares in U.S. Bancorp pull back ahead of expiration. Today, it looks like a different bearish strategy was initiated in USB call options. One trader sold 5,000 calls outright at June 2012 $32 strike within minutes of the opening bell this morning to pocket premium of $0.43 per contract. The investor responsible for the trade walks away with the full amount of premium in hand as long as shares in USB fail to rally above $32.00 at expiration day. If the trader holds no position in the underlying, he or she is naked short the call options and may start to lose money in the event that USB’s shares soar 18.9% in the first half of 2012 to exceed the effective upper breakeven price of $32.43 at June expiration. U.S. Bancorp reports fourth-quarter earnings on January 18, 2011.
V - Visa, Inc. – The near-term prospects for shares in Visa, which today rallied to a fresh high of $101.97, are good according to investors initiating bullish positions in options-land this morning. The global payments technology company’s call options are quite active, with more than 3.5 calls changing hands on the stock for each…
by Option Review - October 21st, 2011 3:01 pm
Today’s tickers: BP, TOT, CHS, CJES & ANF
BP & TOT - BP PLC & Total SA – Intriguing activity in call options covering Europe’s second- and third-largest oil companies, BP and Total, carried over from Thursday’s trading day to the final session of the week. Shares in both companies are up on the day, with BP gaining 1.8% to $42.07, and Total rising 1.1% to $52.36, by 12:35 pm EDT. Yesterday we noted one strategist’s dispersion trade; selling calls on Total and buying calls on BP, in a position that seemed to suggest fruitful months ahead for BP and less-stellar share price performance at Total.
News out on BP today may support such bullish sentiment. The company was reportedly granted approval by U.S. regulators to once again engage in oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, its first such approval since the company’s disastrous offshore spill in 2010. BP is slated to report its performance for the third quarter ahead of the opening bell on October 25, while Total reveals its numbers pre-market on October 28.
The call activity in both names this morning is almost identical to that observed on Thursday. It looks like the investor sold some 7,600 Total calls at the May 2012 $55 strike for a premium of $3.30 each, and purchased around 8,400 calls on BP at the April $44 strike for a premium of $2.89 apiece. The strategist walks away with the full amount of premium received for writing the TOT call options as long as shares in the French oil company fail to exceed $55.00 at expiration in May. Meanwhile, profits may be available on the long BP call options should shares in the name rally another 11.5% to surpass the effective breakeven price of $46.89 by expiration in April 2012. Options implied volatility readings on both stocks are down roughly 6.0% as of 12:50 pm in New York.
CHS - Chico’s FAS, Inc. – Bullish options players have taken a shine to the retailer of private-branded apparel and accessories today, with shares in the Fort Myers, Florida-based company rallying 2.25% to $12.35 on a risk-on day for U.S. equities. Investors positioning for Chico’s shares to extend gains snapped up call options in the November contract. The most heavily populated option is the Nov. $14 strike call, which changed hands upward of 4,700 times in the first half of the session against open interest of 653 contracts. Options…
by Option Review - August 3rd, 2011 2:50 pm
Today’s tickers: PRGO, BPL, CLH & CHS
PRGO - Perrigo Co. – Shares in global healthcare supplier Perrigo Company may rise substantially in the next few weeks, according to one options player initiating a debit call spread on the stock this morning. The manufacturer of OTC and generic prescription pharmaceuticals as well as nutritional and medical diagnostic products reports fourth-quarter earnings ahead of the open on August 16. Shares in Perrigo are currently up 0.55% to stand at $86.24 as of 12:45 pm in New York. It looks like the bullish strategist picked up 1,500 in-the-money calls at the August $85 strike for a premium of $2.58 each, and sold the same number of calls up at the August $95 strike at a premium of $0.23 apiece. Net premium paid to initiate the spread amounts to $2.35 per contract, thus positioning the trader to profit should shares in PRGO rally 1.3% to surpass the effective breakeven price of $87.35 at August expiration. The call-spreader could walk away with maximum potential profits of $7.65 per contract in the event that Perrigo’s shares surge 10.2% to a new all-time high of $95.00 by expiration day. PRGO’s shares hit their current record-high of $94.61 on July 21.
BPL - Buckeye Partners, L.P. – Put options on Houston, TX-based pipeline operator, Buckeye Partners, are in demand this afternoon, with shares in the name trading slightly lower by 0.45% to arrive at $63.46 just before 1:00 pm on the East Coast. The provider of transportation, terminalling and storage of petroleum products is scheduled to report second-quarter results before the market opens on Friday. Investors expecting shares in Buckeye pull back purchased nearly 1,500 puts at the September $60 strike for an average premium of $1.27 per contract. It looks like most of the volume was generated by one investor buying 1,300 of the contracts at $1.25 a-pop. The trader may be hedging a long position in the underlying, or could be taking an outright bearish stance on the stock. Profits are…
by Option Review - February 16th, 2011 6:05 pm
Today’s tickers: VLO, MRVL, CHS & MU
VLO - Valero Energy Corp. – Traders flocked to the options playing field on Valero Energy Corp. this morning after the operator of refineries was raised to ‘Top Pick’ from ‘Sector Perform’ with a 12-month target share price of $35.00 at RBC Capital Markets. Shares in Valero are up 3.35% to stand at $29.40 just after 11:40am in New York. Earlier in the session the price of the underlying increased as much as 4.1% to $29.61, the highest Valero’s shares have traded since October of 2008. Near- as well as long-term bulls made their mark in VLO call options in the first half of the session. Investors expecting Valero to extend gains through expiration next month scooped up more than 2,300 calls at the March $31 strike for an average premium of $0.71 apiece. Call buyers at this strike stand prepared to make money should shares in the oil refiner rally another 7.1% over today’s high of $29.61 to surpass the average breakeven price of $31.71 by expiration day in March. Investors eyeing longer-term and more substantial gains in Valero’s shares purchased approximately 10,200 calls out at the January 2012 $35 strike for an average premium of $1.73 a-pop, on previously existing open interest of 3,126 contracts at that strike. Traders long the calls profit in the event that VLO’s shares jump 24.05% to exceed the breakeven at $36.73 within the next eleven months to expiration in 2012. Valero Energy Corp.’s shares last traded above $36.73 back in early July of 2008.
MRVL - Marvell Technology Group, Ltd. – Options strategists itching for a substantial near-term rally in chipmaker Marvell Technology Group are buying call spreads in the March contract this morning. Shares in the name are up slightly by 0.10% to stand at…