by Option Review - August 27th, 2012 2:15 pm
Today’s tickers: BBY, KNXA & NOK
BBY - Best Buy, Inc. – A bull call spread initiated on the world’s largest electronic retailer this morning suggests one option strategist is positioning for shares in Best Buy to potentially post double-digit percentage gains by January 2013 expiration. Shares in the retailer are up 5.9% at $18.33 this morning on news Best Buy agreed to permit its founder, Richard Schulze, to perform due diligence on the company required to further the process of possibly taking over the retailer with a group of private equity firms. The sizable spread was constructed through the purchase of 6,750 calls at the Jan. ’13 $19 strike call and the sale of the same number of calls up at the Jan. ’13 $23 strike, all for a net premium outlay of around $1.28 per contract. The spread makes money if shares in BBY rally another 11% to surpass the average breakeven price of $20.28, with maximum possible profits of $2.72 per contract available should the stock soar 25.5% to $23.00 by expiration next year. Options on Best Buy are more active than usual today, with volume in excess of 56,200 contracts running at approximately 156% of the stock’s average daily volume of 35,942 contracts.
KNXA - Kenexa Corp. – Shares in Kenexa Corp. are up nearly 42% this afternoon at $45.85 on news IBM agreed to buy the maker of human resources software for $1.3 billion in cash. It looks like the sharp move in the share price has some options traders sitting on substantial paper profits. Call open interest in Kenexa is largest at the Sep. $35 strike where 399 positions were initiated during the past few weeks. A 100-lot block was purchased at a premium of $1.00 back on August 9th and around 35 of the calls were picked up this past Friday at an average premium of $0.85 apiece. Call buyers paying up to $1.00 per contract for the…
by Option Review - December 15th, 2011 3:02 pm
Today’s tickers: WAG, CS, BMC & NOK
WAG - Walgreen Co. – Less than one week remains before Walgreen’s first-quarter earnings report, and a large options trade initiated on the stock this morning prepares one strategist to potentially enjoy big profits should the drugstore chain’s performance send shares skyward. Walgreen Co.’s shares today are up 1.0% at $33.94 in afternoon trade. It looks like the bullish player established a sizable call spread, buying at least 9,200 calls at the Jan. 2012 $35 strike and selling the same number of calls up at the Jan. 2012 $39 strike, all for a net premium outlay of $1.20 per contract. The investor may profit at expiration day next month as long as WAG’s shares rally another 6.7% to surpass the effective breakeven price of $36.20. Maximum possible profits of $2.80 per contract are available to the trader in the event that Walgreen’s shares soar 14.9% to exceed $39.00 at expiration in January.
CS - Credit Suisse Group – Call options on Credit Suisse are more active than usual today on news the financial services provider plans to merge operations of its investment banking and private banking units to lower costs. Shares in the second-largest Swiss bank rallied as much as 3.85% to $23.45 in the first half of the trading session. Fresh prints in Jan. 2012 contract call options indicate some investors are positioning for Credit Suisse Group’s shares to rise as the New Year gets underway. Traders exchanged more than 11,000 calls at the Jan. 2012 $25 strike against open interest of just 79 contracts. It looks like one trader generated much of the volume, buying 5,200 of the call options for an average premium of $0.90 a-pop. The investor stands prepared to profit should the Swiss bank’s shares surge 10.4% to top $25.90 at expiration next…
by Option Review - August 15th, 2011 2:14 pm
Today’s tickers: NOK, RIMM & AEP
NOK - Nokia Corp. – Investors in the Finnish cellphone-maker who have watched its share price halve from its optimistic February peak were thrown a lifeline on Monday after Google said it would buy a Motorola division. The purchase of its Mobility unit was quickly pounced on by Nokia bulls after a spokesman for the company said “we use Windows too!” Shares in Nokia recovered by 12% on Monday to trade at $6.00 after Nokia said that the Google decision vindicated its decision to stick with Windows technology. The move, said Nokia, could serve up a “massive catalyst” for the entire Windows Phone ecosystem. Option traders jumped at the chance of a reevaluation for the industry in light of the recent slump especially in Nokia’s fortunes, where executives earlier stopped making forecasts in light of ever-tougher competition from Apple and Blackberry. Investors predicted that Nokia might gain as much as 50% over the coming two months and paid an average of 10 cents for rights to buy shares by October. Calls at the $9.00 strike started the day with less than a one-in-10 chance of landing in the money by expiration but still investors keep snapping them up – volume so far stands at 16,642 lots.
RIMM - Research in Motion – Blackberry-maker RIMM also tagged along for the ride on Monday after National Bank Financial analyst Kris Thompson suggested that Google’s Motorola purchase crystallized the issue of patents. Google’s defense of its Android strategy by widening the net of its outstanding number of patents might focus investors on a floor for Research in Motion. The company earlier acquired thousands of wireless patents from now bankrupt Nortel Networks, which could be valued at $10 billion and compare to a market value of $13 billion at…
by ilene - July 20th, 2011 12:31 pm
Apple bears, don’t get too excited by the title. – Ilene
Courtesy of Howard Lindzon
There is NO way $AAPL will trade at $400 tomorrow.
Apple is barely hanging on. I mean $RIMM playbook, China knockoffs, Droid, $MSFT and $NOK teaming up….need I drone on. For sure the Gateway and Egghead stores will cut into their margins. The self ‘unhelp’ desk at Best Buy is a winner.
There is no way Apple can survive and grow with $78 billion in Cash. That’s barely enough to buy Goldman Sachs which just prints money or gets handed it by the government.
The iPad is awesome but it’s going to kill Mac sales. The ‘Macbook Air’ is spectacular, but if I have an iPad and an iPhone why would I buy one?
iTunes? ya right… I can just pirate the shit or get a Spotify account.
Steve Jobs died in 2010. That’s not him anymore on stage…have you not seen ‘Weekend at Bernie’s?’
Disclosure – Long Apple just in case
by Option Review - June 1st, 2011 4:04 pm
Today’s tickers: NOK, DG, ESV & OREX
NOK - Nokia Corp. – When Nokia yesterday announced that it was no longer meaningful to offer a forecast into its murky future, investors abandoned the stock driving it into new lower territory. We noticed frenzied options activity as investors reaped what premium they could from fast-falling call options. The dire nature of Nokia’s warning has left option traders with little doubt that its shares will flounder further in coming weeks. Bearish option traders wrote off at-the-money $7.00 call options expiring in just three weeks’ time for just 20 cents each. The question facing option bears seems to be not whether the shares will rebound but how far they will sink in the days ahead. On Wednesday the picture weakened with shares sliding by a further 7% to $6.50 while it appears that call options are once again being sold, but this time at lower strikes. Investors appeared to turn their attention to the $6.00 strike where volume of 3,000 built by mid-morning. Open interest of a mere 300 lots confirms that new positions are being taken. We saw at least 1,000 contracts clear the prevailing 59-cent bid on our screens. Sellers also decimated the premium available on July $7.00 strike calls with some 9,000 contract being traded Wednesday where premiums have halved to just 18-cents on the day. Investors seem convinced that Nokia’s fortunes look dire.
DG - Dollar General Corp. – The discount retailer missed Wall Street’s expectation for earnings when it reported its first quarter data of 48 cents. The Street was hoping for 50 cents. The seller of all-fine-things-for-less-than-$10 said it took losses on certain slow-to-clear items and said that shoppers were constrained by rising gas prices. It nevertheless stood by its full year estimate and continues to revise store…
by Option Review - December 23rd, 2010 4:24 pm
Today’s tickers: HES, NOK, AES & NBG
HES - Hess Corp. – The energy company appeared on our scanners this morning after one options strategist initiated a bullish risk reversal in the February 2011 contract. Shares in Hess Corp. are currently down 0.45% to arrive at $75.82 as of 12:40pm. It looks like the investor responsible for the transaction sold 2,500 puts at the February 2011 $65 strike for a premium of $0.53 each, in order to buy the same number of calls at the higher February 2011 $85 strike at a premium of $0.55 apiece. The investor paid a net $0.02 per contract for the risk reversal. This strategy is a far cheaper method of gaining upside exposure for a Hess-bull than buying calls outright. Premium on the calls will appreciate if shares rally sufficiently ahead of expiration day, and the investor may be able to book profits by selling the calls at a higher premium whether or not they land in-the-money. The short stance in puts indicates this individual expects shares to remain above $65.00. He appears to be more than willing to bear the risk of having 250,000 shares of the underlying stock put to him if the puts land in-the-money at expiration because of the cost savings that put selling provides for the bullish stance. Hess Corp. shares are currently trading just below their 52-week high of $76.54, attained during trading on Wednesday. The bullish risk reversal suggests the investor is positioning for Hess Corp.’s shares to hit new highs in the next couple of months to expiration. Shares must rally at least 12.1% over the current price of $75.82 in order for the February 2011 $85 strike calls to land in-the-money before they expire in February.
NOK - Nokia Corp. – Options traders are picking up both call and put options on the mobile telecommunications company today in the February 2011 contract. It looks like investors are expecting shares to move ahead of expiration day in February. Shares in Nokia Corp.…
by Option Review - May 26th, 2010 4:24 pm
Today’s tickers: C, NOK, XLF, ETFC, TXT, GE, JPM, JCG, AMR, PRU & CAKE
C – Citigroup, Inc. – A large-volume ratio call spread enacted on Citigroup during the first half of the trading session suggests one big player is positioning for continued share price appreciation through July expiration. Citigroup’s shares gained as much as 6.6% earlier in the session to reach an intraday high of $4.03, but are currently up a more modest 2.65% on the day at $3.88 as of 3:55 pm (ET). The bullish investor paid a net premium of $0.19 per contract to purchase roughly 66,000 calls at the July $4.0 strike, and sell about 132,000 calls at the higher July $5.0 strike price. The spread positions the trader to make money above the breakeven price of $4.19 through July expiration. Maximum potential profits of $0.81 per contract pad the investor’s wallet if Citi’s shares jump 28.9% over the current price of $3.88 to settle at $5.00 at expiration.
NOK – Nokia Corp. – Options traders populating Nokia Corp. today sold in- and out-of-the-money calls on the world’s largest maker of mobile phones with shares of the underlying stock trading 2.35% lower to $9.99 with 40 minutes remaining ahead of the closing bell. Finland-based Nokia retained its ranking as one of the two greenest major electronics makers at Greenpeace International along with Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB. Call sellers roamed across several expiries on the mobile phone maker, spreading pessimistic sentiment along the way. Near-term bears doubting Nokia’s shares will rebound any time soon shed 6,700 calls at the June $10 strike to take in an average premium of $0.50 per contract. Approximately 8,300 calls were sold at the July $10 strike price for an average premium of $0.70 apiece. Investors selling the contracts keep the premium received as long as Nokia’s shares trade below $10.00 through expiration in June/July. Uber-pessimistic traders shed 3,700 in-the-money call options at the October $9.0 strike to take in an average premium of $1.67 per contract. Nokia’s shares must fall another 9.90% from the current price of $9.99 to breach the $9.00-level. In-the-money call sellers keep the premium if Nokia’s share price does not exceed $9.00 at expiration. Finally, bearish investors sold 5,600 calls at the October $10 strike for an average premium of $1.10 each, 4,800 calls at the October $11 strike for an average premium of $0.64 a-pop,…
by Phil Davis - January 5th, 2010 8:27 am
Wow – what a lot of work to get back to last Tuesday’s high!
As usual, the vast majority of gains came in pre-market trading and the rest came in light-volume, early morning trading while the rest of the day was dominated by every buyer finding a willing seller for 75% of the day’s volume. We saw what happened on Thursday when someone big wants to sell and there are no buyers so we’ll see how long the bull’s luck (manufactured or otherwise) will hold out as we begin to get economic data along with some early earnings reports.
The Ag sector popped 2% yesterday ahead of tonight’s earings from MOS with MON checking in tomorrow morning so we’ll see how wise those last-minute bets were in short order. SONC also has earnings tonight and we like those guys long-term. SONC makes a decent buy/write candidate as you can buy the stock for $10.29 and sell June $10 puts and calls for $2.25 for a net entry of $8.04 with a very nice 24% profit if called away at $10 and an average entry of $9.02 (a 12% discount) if more stock is put to you below $10 in June.
FDO and WOR also report tomorrow morning. FDO will be interesting but a weak dollar probably hurt them last quarter. Tomorrow night we hear from BBBY, BLUD, OHB and Sonic competitor RT, who seem a bit pricey at $7.50. Thursday we get our first real builder, LEN along with STZ and TXI. After the bell on Thursday we hear from APOL, CRI and SCHN with GBX and PSMT on Friday. AA officially kicks of earnings season next Monday with GAP, INFY, KBH, BGG, SCHW, SHFL, INTC and JPM highlighting the reporters.
We have plenty of data this week including Factory Orders and Pending Home Sales at 10 am along with December Auto Sales throughout the day (did you get a new car for Christmas?). Tomorrow is jobs day, with the ADP Report and Challenger Job Cuts ahead of the bell followed by ISM Services (yesterday’s ISM was a nice beat) and, of course, Crude Inventories at 10:30 which are unlikely to sustain $82 oil (USO Jan $40 puts for .80 are a good way to play this). We talked about the other stuff yesterday so I won’t repeat it – suffice to say we have plenty of data this week to see if we justify these lofty levels.
by Option Review - December 31st, 2009 4:44 pm
Today’s tickers: YRCW, NOK & MDVN
YRCW – YRC Worldwide – I was a little skeptical yesterday of the extreme pessimism that depicted the predictions from the options market surrounding the fate of trucking giant, YRC Worldwide. Investors stepped up to buy huge amounts of put options at the 50 cent strike price that expire next month. With shares at that time trading at $1.00 the huge premium represents a rather expensive 50% layout on an event far from certain. The event is not necessarily the bankruptcy of the company itself, rather it’s the potential for the investor to make money from the trade. Investors would do well to look back at the actual trading price of stocks that go into bankruptcy. Shares don’t always go to zero and they can stay above 50 cents even upon entering a Chapter 11 filing. While today’s news of a debt-for-equity swap provides a reprieve from a filing now, investors continue to ditch the stock, which is today trading at 82 cents. However, those same put options at the 50 cent strike have fallen heavily to 35 cents offered today because the uncertainty surrounding the outcome is perceived to be lower. In the options world, we call that reading implied volatility. Today it’s fallen massively from 291% to 188% at the 50 cent strike.
NOK – Nokia Corp. ADR – Looks like an investor is either unwinding a implanting a call option spread on Finnish cell phone maker, Nokia, whose shares have traded between $12.85 and $12.97 this morning. It appears that open interest at both of the February $14 and $15 strikes took off yesterday with both reading around 35,000 lots today. Further bullish volume saw investors buy the lower strike calls at 28 cents and sell the higher $15 strike for about 9 cents. The net cost of the spread at 19 cents means that a surge of 15.6% in Nokia’s shares to $15.00 would maximize investors’ gains at 81 cents per contract. Volume today is 18,000 lots at each strike price. Shares have not traded above the $14.19 breakeven point since they slumped on October 14, 2009.
MDVN – Medivation Inc. – Shares of the biopharmaceutical company have risen at a 45 degree angle since October rising from $25 to almost $40 each this week. The company develops drugs for diseases with limited treatments including Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease. One…
by Option Review - August 25th, 2009 5:08 pm
Today’s tickers: IVN, FDX, XLI, HGSI, FXI, VIP, XLP & NOK
IVN - Shares of the international mineral exploration and development company surged 20% during the trading session to reach an intraday high of $10.66. The Canadian stock was fueled by reports which revealed that changes to Mongolia’s laws will help the company to complete an investment agreement on the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold project in the near future. One investor, who had positioned himself to profit from a rally in Ivanhoe, was seen banking gains today by selling to close a long call position. It appears he originally purchased some 17,000 calls for an average premium of 90 cents each around July 30, 2009. Today he shed all 17,000 contracts for a premium of 2.05 apiece. The investor has realized approximate gains of 1.15 per contract for a total of $1,955,000. Bullish activity was seen at the March 2010 15 strike price where it looks like investor purchased 5,000 calls for one dollar apiece. Traders long the calls will profit if shares rally another 50% to breach the breakeven price of $16.00 by expiration next year. – Ivanhoe Mines Limited –
FDX - Bullish action on FedEx this afternoon boosted the firm onto our ‘most active by options volume’ market scanner with the stock trading more than 0.5% higher to $68.40. Traders shed 8,500 put options at the October 60 strike price to take in an average premium of 1.03 per contract. The full premium will be retained by these individuals as long as the puts land out-of-the-money at expiration. Investors are happy to accept the 1.03 premium in exchange for bearing the risk that the stock slips lower, and falls beneath the breakeven point to the downside at $58.97. Losses begin to accumulate for traders if FedEx trades at a price lower than the breakeven point by expiration in October. We note that the stock has remained above $60.00 since July 16, 2009. – FedEx Corp. –
XLI - The industrials exchange-traded fund has risen less than 1% to stand at $25.50. One investor took hold of a large chunk of put options on the XLI by purchasing 40,000 puts at the September 24 strike price for 25 cents apiece. This trader may be bearish, in which case he aims to amass profits to the downside if the XLI declines beneath $23.75 by expiration next month. Alternatively, the investor may have purchased…