by Option Review - January 29th, 2013 1:18 pm
by Option Review - December 10th, 2010 4:59 pm
Today’s tickers: LULU, IRM, GAP, SNDK, STI & DFS
LULU - Lululemon Athletica, Inc. – Shares of the yoga clothing and accessories maker stretched and lengthened up to new all-time highs yet again today, attracting bullish options players more than willing to flex their call-buying muscles in the December and January 2011 contracts. LULU’s shares jumped more than 8.95% to secure an intraday- and new all-time high of $69.25 in the final thirty minutes of the trading week. The Canadian company’s shares have been unstoppable, rallying an incredible 167.5% to today’s high from a 52-week low of $25.75 on February 5, 2010. Shares are up 1,490.8% since March 6, 2009, when the stock touched down at an all time low of $4.33 a share at around the same time the S&P 500 Index hit rock-bottom in the most recent economic recession. Investors unwilling to stand in the way of such a driving force picked up call options on Lululemon to position for additional share price gains going forward. Traders purchased some 1,100 in-the-money calls at the December $65 strike for an average premium of $2.67 each. Call buyers at this strike profit if LULU’s shares exceed the average breakeven price of $67.67 through December expiration. Other bullish players sold roughly 1,650 puts at the December $65 strike to pocket premium of $1.08 per contract. Put sellers keep the full premium received on the transaction as long as shares trade above $65.00 through expiration in one week. Investors short the puts are happy to have shares of the underlying stock put to them at an average price of $63.92 a share in the event that the puts land in-the-money at expiration. Bullish players skipped to the January 2011 contract to purchase out-of-the-money calls, as well. Investors bought more than 1,000 January 2011 $70 strike calls for an average premium of $2.21 each. Uber-bullish players picked up another 2,000 calls at the higher January 2011 $75 strike at an average premium of $1.19 a-pop. Call…
by Option Review - November 11th, 2010 5:03 pm
Today’s tickers: HGSI, BSX, DFS, CSCO, LVLT, AMGN & IBB
HGSI - Human Genome Sciences, Inc. – Shares in Human Genome Sciences are up 8.9% to trade around $26.49 in the final hour of the trading session on speculation the firm could become an attractive takeover target if its lupus drug treatment, Benlysta, wins approval next month. Options traders sent up a number of bullish signals using January 2011 contract call and put options. Earlier this morning, one optimistic investor initiated a debit call spread, buying 3,000 calls at the January 2011 $27 strike for a premium of $3.90 each, and selling the same number of calls at the higher January 2011 $40 strike at a premium of $0.375 apiece. The net cost of putting on the spread amounts to $3.525 per contract. The investor makes money on the spread if Human Genome’s shares surge 15.2% over the current price of $26.49 to exceed the effective breakeven point at $30.525 by January expiration. The call spreader could end up taking home maximum potential profits of $9.475 per contract if the price of the underlying stock jumps 51.0% to trade above $40.00 by expiration day next year. The trader is well positioned to benefit from the rally in HGSI shares that would accompany Benlysta’s approval and/or continued takeover chatter. Another bullish sign that appeared in the same expiry involved put options. It looks like another investor unraveled a previously established bear put spread, selling 2,750 puts at the Jan. 2011 $20 strike and buying the same number of puts at the lower Jan. 2011 $15 strike, to take in a net premium of $1.25 per contract. It is possible the transaction is an opening credit put spread rather than a closing sale, but open interest levels at both strikes are more than sufficient to cover today’s volume. Either way, the trade is another sign of optimism on the biotechnology company ahead of the key drug approval decision. Options implied volatility on the stock is…
by Option Review - November 2nd, 2010 8:16 am
Today’s tickers: LVS, INTC, DFS, BIG, SWN, MRVL, XRT & FTNT
LVS - Las Vegas Sands Corp. – Shares of the casino resort operator rallied as much as 3.5% during the trading session to hit an intraday- and new 52-week high of $47.48 on news Macau casino revenue, bolstered by China’s Golden Week holiday, jumped 50% to a record in October. Analysts at Morgan Stanley raised their target price on LVS to $50.00 from $36.00, maintained an ‘overweight’ rating on the stock, upped their EPS estimate on the company for fiscal 2010 to $0.96 a share from $0.69 a share, and increased their EPS forecast for 2011 for LVS to $1.85 per share from $1.19 per share. Options traders are initiating bullish positions on the casino operator today and are currently trading more than 2.2 calls on the stock for each single put option changing hands. Near-term November contract calls and puts are the most popular with less than 30 minutes remaining before the final bell. Bulls sold more than 1,000 puts at the November $45 and $47 strikes to pocket an average premium of $1.23 and $2.10, respectively. Investors short the puts keep the premium received as long as shares exceed the strike prices described by November expiration. Meanwhile, call buyers scooped up 1,600 in-the-money contracts at the November $46 strike for an average premium of $2.63 each. Another 1,100 calls were purchased at the higher November $47 strike for an average premium of $2.14 a-pop. Investors hoping to see LVS shares increase significantly before the year ends purchased some 1,800 calls up at the December $50 strike for an average premium of $2.24 per contract. Traders holding these contracts profit if Las Vegas Sands’ shares surge 10.00% over today’s high of $47.48 to trade above the effective breakeven price of $52.24 by expiration day next month. Options implied volatility on LVS is up 5.7% to arrive at 50.30% as of 3:40 pm in New York trading.
INTC - Intel Corp. – One big options…
by Option Review - June 10th, 2010 4:24 pm
Today’s tickers: HOG, SKS, MDRX, DFS, NFLX, IGT & DOW
HOG – Harley-Davidson, Inc. – Motorcycle maker, Harley-Davidson, Inc., attracted hoards of options investors during the session with its shares rallying as much as 5.85% in morning trading to secure an intraday high of $27.71. Harley’s shares are currently up a more modest 1.80% to $26.65 just before 12:40 pm (ET). Bullish tactics dominated activity in the June contract, with optimistic traders picking up some 4,300 calls at the June $28 strike for an average premium of $0.52 apiece. Call buyers at this strike price make money only if Harley-Davidson’s shares exceed $28.52 ahead of June expiration. Optimism spread to the higher June $30 strike where 1,100 calls were purchased at an average premium of $0.15 each. The calls are not a profitable acquisition for traders unless Harley’s shares jump more than 13.1% over the current price of $26.65 to exceed the average breakeven price of $30.15 by June expiration day. Investor sentiment is mixed in the July contract. While bulls purchased call options at the July $30 strike for an average premium of $0.82 apiece, bearish traders employed different strategies. It looks like some pessimistic investors essentially opted to sell call options in order to finance the purchase of debit put spreads. These traders appear to have purchased roughly 4,000 puts at the July $25 strike for an average premium of $1.23 each, and sold about the same number of puts at the lower July $20 strike for $0.23 apiece. Additional financing for the bearish spread was provided by the sale of approximately 4,000 calls at the July $30 strike for an average premium of $0.82 each. Thus, the average net cost of the combination play amounts to $0.18 per contract. Investors employing this strategy are prepared to profit should HOG’s shares decline 6.9% to breach the effective breakeven price to the downside at $24.82 by July expiration. Maximum available profits of $4.82 per contract accumulate for bearish individuals if shares of the underlying stock plummet 24.95% from the current price of $26.65 to break through $20.00 by expiration day.
SKS – Saks, Inc. – Some investors made bullish moves on Saks, Inc. today with shares of the underlying stock up as much as 5.2% in the first half of the trading session to an intraday high of $8.50. The luxury retailer’s share price rose on optimism consumer spending…
by Option Review - July 7th, 2009 5:33 pm
Today’s tickers: PCS, EEM, GIGM, AIG, DFS, GE, PBR & HGSI
PCS – The wireless communications provider has experienced a more than 4.5% rally in shares today, attracting bullish option traders to the field. One trade in particular caught our eye as an investor looking for significant gains in the price of the stock took action. The purchase of 3,600 calls at the nearly in-the-money August 12.5 strike price for 1.05 was the first leg of the optimistic trade. The call options in the August contract were spread against the sale of another 3,600 calls at the higher 17.5 strike price in the February 2010 contract for 55 cents apiece. The net cost of the calendar spread amounts to 50 cents. If the nearer-term calls land in-the-money, the investor can exercise his right to take delivery of the underlying shares at an effective cost of $13.00 each. Once he is long the stock, the investor is hoping to see shares rise to $17.50 by expiration in February. If shares can rally through the 17.5 strike price, the trader will make his exit by having the underlying stock called away from him, exiting the pitch with gains of 35% in total. – MetroPCS Communications, Inc.
EEM – Options action on the emerging markets fund today suggests mixed opinions by traders populating the nearer-term contracts. Shares of EEM have slipped 1% to stand at $31.55. One bearish investor looked to the August 30 strike price to initiate a sold straddle. Such positioning indicates that the trader expects shares to continue downward and settle at $30.00 by expiration. The straddle was enacted through the sale of 7,500 puts and an equal number of calls for a gross premium of 3.93 per contract. The full premium will remain pocketed by the investor responsible for the trade if the price of the underlying gravitates to $30.00. The short call and put positions leaves this individual exposed to losses beneath the breakeven point to the downside at $26.07 and vulnerable to unlimited losses above the breakeven point to the upside at $33.93. Another investor has lessened his bearish outlook on the EEM by initiating a calendar spread. It appears that this trader sold 20,000 puts at the August 27 strike price for 52 cents apiece to fund the purchase of 20,000 puts at the much lower September 22 strike for 26 cents per contract.…
by Option Review - May 5th, 2009 5:47 pm
Today’s tickers: MGM, DFS, MOS, WFR, LVS, XHB, KFT & HNZ
MGM MGM Mirage, Inc. – Shares of the biggest casino owner on the Las Vegas Strip have skyrocketed by more than 42% to $13.41 amid reports from the company that occupancy has recovered and convention cancellations have lessened. More than 112,000 option contracts on the stock traded today with a number of bullish plays by investors looking for continued strength in its share price. The company also received an upgrade by – surprise, surprise – Bank of America/Merrill Lynch to ‘buy’ after also upgrading fellow casino giant, Las Vegas Sands Corp., as well. Early bird investors were able to buy call options that have since landed in-the-money during the rally at the May 12.5 strike price for an average premium of just 83 cents. Now (post 2pm EST) getting long of those same calls cost 1.75 apiece. More optimistic traders looked to the May 15 strike where more than 8,000 calls were traded. At least 3,000 of those calls were purchased for about 38 cents each earlier today. However, the premium has since increased to the current ask price of 65 cents. Option implied volatility on the stock is currently at 150% down from 200% recorded last Thursday.
DFS Discover Financial Services – The credit card issuer and electronic payment services firm is up by less than 1% to $9.02. Option investors were observed buying bullish call options on the stock despite concerns over weaker earnings for the first-quarter across the board for credit card issuers. At the May 10 strike price traders exchanged calls about 15,000 times with more than 8,300 contracts bought at an average premium of 24 cents each. Optimism spread to the June contract where about 3,400 puts were shed at the June 7.5 strike for a VWAP of 43 cents. The June 10 strike witnessed the purchase of 3,500 calls for about 72 cents apiece. The most bullish individuals discovered calls available for the taking at the July 12.5 strike price where some 1,100 were coveted for 33 cents per contract. The more than 29,900 contracts traded on the stock today represent 54% of the existing open interest on DFS of 55,244 lots.
MOS The Mosaic Company – The producer of potash and animal feed has experienced a rally in shares of more than 4% to $46.04 amid rumors reported by one news…