by Option Review - November 1st, 2012 1:53 pm
Today’s tickers: RIMM, VRTX & ABX
RIMM - Research In Motion Ltd. – Upside call buying in Blackberry maker, Research In Motion, could result in quick overnight profits for some traders as long as shares in the name extend gains through the end of the trading week. Shares in RIMM are up 9% this morning to stand at $8.65 as of 11:55 a.m. in New York, adding to Wednesday’s more than 4.5% gain in the stock, sparked by reports that wireless carriers have started lab-testing the company’s Blackberry 10 phones. Options traders who purchased weekly calls on Research In Motion yesterday have in some cases seen the value of bullish positions rise markedly since the prior session. For example, buyers of around 1,600 Nov. 02 ’12 $8.5 strike calls on Wednesday for roughly $0.01 per contract now find these options changing hands at $0.18 apiece. Traders appear to be bulking up on the $8.5 strike weekly calls, purchasing another 2,300 contracts in morning trading on Thursday. Bulls also snapped up 2,300 calls at the higher Nov. 02 ’12 $9.0 strike for an average premium of $0.02 each. Continued gains in shares of the wireless company ahead of the weekend may result in substantial gains on positions established today. Not all trading traffic in weekly options with one full trading session remaining to expiration is bullish. Buyers of around 2,400 puts at the Nov. 02 ’12 $8.5 strike for an average premium of $0.13 apiece, and some 4,000 of the Nov. 02 ’12 $8.0 strike put options at $0.05 each, may profit at expiration if RIMM’s shares return some of the week’s gains tomorrow.
VRTX - Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – Shares in drug maker, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., are soaring today, up better than 7% at $51.72 in early-afternoon trade, on news the biotechnology company agreed to test one of its experimental hepatitis C drugs with therapies from Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline. Cambridge, Mass.-based Vertex is…
by Option Review - August 8th, 2012 2:38 pm
Today’s tickers: RIMM, S & HPQ
RIMM - Research In Motion Limited – Shares in the troubled mobile phone maker rallied sharply Wednesday morning on comments from Jefferies & Co. analyst, Peter Misek, regarding the possibility that Samsung Electronics Co. is considering licensing Research In Motion’s new BB10 operating system or buying the company. RIMM is well off its highs of the session at present, up 4.9% at $7.67 as of 11:45 a.m. in New York, down from an initial 12.9% spike in the shares to an intraday high of $8.25. Traders flocked to RIMM options and drove the number of contracts traded to more than three times average daily volume. Heavy put buying in the weekly options suggests gains in the price of the underlying may be short lived. More than 25,000 in-the-money puts changed hands at the Aug. 10 ’12 $8.0 strike versus open interest of just 460 contracts. It looks like most of these put options were purchased in the first hour of the trading day for an average premium of $0.34 apiece. Put buyers profit at expiration this week in the event the Blackberry makers settle below the average breakeven price of $7.66.
S - Sprint Nextel Corp. – The third-largest U.S. wireless carrier’s shares have been on a tear in recent months, having nearly doubled since the end of May. Sizable prints in Sprint call options this morning suggest at least one trader is positioning for the price of the underlying to continue its run during the next few months. The stock today is up 5.0% to stand at $4.53 as of 12:20 p.m. in New York. The sale of a block of 11,129 Aug. $4.0 strike calls for a premium of $0.44 apiece spread against the purchase of a block of 11,148 calls at the Nov. $5.0 strike at a premium of $0.27 each may be the work of an investor rolling up a bullish position. A review of…
by Option Review - July 9th, 2012 2:31 pm
Today’s tickers: UBS, RIMM & HZNP
UBS - UBS AG – Call options looking for a rebound in shares of Switzerland’s largest lender in the next six weeks are in play today ahead of the company’s second-quarter earnings report on July 31st. Shares in the Swiss bank are near the lowest levels of the year, down almost 40% since July 2011, and currently lower by 0.80% on the day to stand at $10.93 just before 1:00 p.m. ET. Traders appear to have purchased around 1,190 calls at the Aug. $12 strike for a premium of $0.15 per contract. Call buyers may profit at August expiration should shares in UBS rally 11.2% to surpass the effective breakeven price of $12.15. The stock last traded above $12.15 back in May.
RIMM - Research in Motion, Ltd. – Shares in the troubled mobile phone maker reversed gains realized in early trading on Monday to stand 3.5% lower on the session at $7.82 as of 12:15 p.m. in New York. Fresh positioning in October expiry call options within minutes of the opening bell this morning suggests one or more strategists may be positioning for shares in Research in Motion to improve during the next few months. Upwards of 8,000 calls changed hands at the Oct. $9.0 strike, with much of the volume trading in a block of 4,136 lots versus open interest of 1,617 contracts. It looks like almost all of the calls were purchased for an average premium of $0.79 apiece, establishing an average breakeven price of $9.79 on the upside. Traders long the Oct. $9.0 calls profit at expiration if shares in RIMM surge 25.2% to exceed $9.79. Executives of the Blackberry maker face shareholders tomorrow at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Waterloo, Ontario.
by Option Review - June 25th, 2012 2:05 pm
Today’s tickers: STZ, RIMM & NRG
STZ - Constellation Brands, Inc. – Shares in the world’s largest wine company are leading the few gainers in the S&P 500 Index this morning, bucking the broader market trend as U.S. equities extend losses for a third session in four. Constellation Brands increased as much as 14.0% to $22.10 today on reports global brewing giant, AB InBev, may buy the portion of Mexican brewing company, Grupo Modelo SAB, it does not already own in a transaction that could be valued at $20 billion and include a payment to Constellation Brands. Heavier than usual trading traffic in the July $20 strike call on Friday afternoon ahead of the chatter is worth noting as double-digit gains in the underlying has at least one strategist sitting on triple-digit gains on a particularly well-timed bullish options position. Open interest in the July $20 strike call suggests some 1,550 contracts were purchased for a premium of $0.40 apiece on Friday afternoon, roughly one hour and forty minutes prior to the closing bell. These contracts are currently trading at $2.30 apiece as of 12:20 p.m. ET, a more than five-fold increase in the value of the call options over the weekend. Meanwhile, news of the potential deal spurred fresh bullish positioning in Constellation Brands calls this morning with buyers snapping up Aug. $20, $22.5 and $25 strike calls to position for further upside in the stock. The front-month July $22.5 strike call is the most heavily traded so far today, with upwards of 2,500 calls in play against fewer than 1,000 open contracts. Constellation Brands is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings prior to the opening bell on Friday.
RIMM - Research in Motion Ltd. – Investors continue to dump Research in Motion, sending shares in the Blackberry maker down as much as 8.3% today to a fresh multi-year low of $9.03 after analysts at Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to underweight from equalweight. Weekly…
by Option Review - June 4th, 2012 2:41 pm
Today’s tickers: RIMM, HFC & HNSN
RIMM - Research in Motion, Ltd. – The struggling mobile phone maker’s shares are in the single-digits today, down 5.75% this afternoon to $9.67, trading at their lowest level in nearly a decade. Put buying and call selling in the weekly options suggests there is further pain ahead for RIMM shareholders. Traders positioning to profit from further weakness in the price of the underlying snapped up more than 1,250 in-the-money puts at the Jun. ’08 2012 $10 strike for an average premium of $0.23 each in the first half of the session. Put buyers may profit at expiration later this week should shares in Research in Motion settle below the breakeven price of $9.77. Meanwhile, traders selling upside calls walk away with profits as long as shares in the Blackberry maker fail to rally by expiration this week. More than 6,200 calls changed hands at the $10 strike against open interest of 648 positions, and it looks like most of the calls were sold for an average premium of $0.06 each. Upwards of 2,100 calls were sold at the Jun. $10 strike today at an average premium of $0.28 per contract. Research in Motion in scheduled to report first-quarter earnings after the closing bell on June 28th. The Company last week forecasted an operating loss for the first quarter and said it had hired banks to look into strategic options.
HFC - HollyFrontier Corp. – The Dallas, Texas-based producer of gasoline and jet fuel popped up on our most active by options volume market scanner this morning following a flurry of activity in the July expiry calls and puts. Shares in HollyFrontier rallied at the start of the session after the stock was raised to ‘Buy’ from ‘Neutral’ at UBS, but those gains were short-lived, with the stock now down 3.3% to stand at $28.70 as of 1:25 p.m. in New York. The largest trade in HFC options today…
by Option Review - April 9th, 2012 3:41 pm
Today’s tickers: AOL, JCP & RIMM
AOL - AOL, Inc. – Options volume on AOL is up sharply today on news the web services company agreed to sell and license patents to Microsoft in a deal valued at more than $1 billion. The deal drove shares in AOL, Inc. up as much as 46.6% to an intraday- and new 52-week high of $27.00. More than 28,000 options have changed hands on AOL as of 1:00 p.m. in New York, which is roughly 22 times the stock’s 90-day average volume of 1,276 contracts. Options traders positioning for shares in AOL to extend gains in the near term snapped up calls in the front month. Fresh interest building in the April $26, $27 and $28 strikes was largely initiated by buyers. Volume is substantial at the $27 strike, where around 2,250 calls changed hands against 2 open positions. It looks like traders paid an average premium of $0.53 apiece for the options, which may be profitable at expiration as long as shares in AOL rally another 2.0% to surpass the average breakeven price of $27.53 at expiration. Bullish bets initiated back in March certainly seem to be paying off handsomely for some strategists in the aftermath of the run-up in shares. Open interest in the April $19 strike call suggests 200 contracts were purchased for a premium of $0.40 each on March 16th, while another 200 lots were picked up on March 22nd at a premium of $0.25 apiece. These calls currently tout a last-traded price of $7.85, a roughly 20-fold increase over premiums required to purchase the options just a few weeks ago.
JCP - J.C. Penney, Inc. – A long-term bullish options play on retailer, J.C. Penney, Inc., looks for shares in the name to tack on substantial…
by Option Review - January 12th, 2012 2:09 pm
Today’s tickers: NWL, RIMM & EMN
NWL - Newell Rubbermaid, Inc. – Big prints in Newell Rubbermaid call options pushed the consumer products provider onto our ‘hot by options volume’ market scanner this morning. The burst of call options activity on the stock appears to be largely driven by one or more traders positioning for the price of the underlying to appreciate in the next couple of months. Shares in Rubbermaid are currently down 0.75% to stand at $17.23 as of 1:15 PM in New York. The Company is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings before the market opens on January 27. In-the-money call buying at the February $17 strike this morning, where some 550 calls were picked up for a premium of $0.90 each, was followed minutes later by the purchase of a large block of 10,000 calls at the Mar. $18 strike at a premium of $0.65 apiece. All told, more than 12,600 calls have changed hands at the Mar. $18 strike against open interest of just 156 contracts. Traders long these call options may profit at expiration in March if shares in Rubbermaid surge 8.2% to surpass the effective breakeven price of $18.65. We note that, while the block of 10,000 calls do not appear to be tied to any transaction in the underlying shares today, it’s possible the buyer is short the stock and using the long calls to hedge delta. The interpretation of the transaction would, in that case, change from bullish to bearish as the short stock position yields profits if shares in Rubbermaid decline. Finally, fresh put positions established at the Mar. $17 strike, where around 1,100 contracts were purchased at an average premium of $0.92, suggests some traders are poised to potentially profit should the price of the underlying stock pullback ahead of expiration day.…
by Option Review - December 16th, 2011 2:57 pm
Today’s tickers: RIMM, RRR, HNR & DAL
RIMM - Research in Motion, Ltd. – Bruised, battered and beaten-down does not adequately describe how shares in RIMM look these days, particularly today after the company revealed fourth-quarter sales and earnings guidance that missed expectations, and said the new generation of Blackberrys will launch later than it had anticipated. Shares in the Research in Motion opened the session down 13.3% at an eight-year low of $13.12. The stock this year has lost more than 80.0% of its value this year, having come down from a February 18, 2011, 52-week high of $70.54. Options volume on the stock is just about to top 400,000 contracts as of 1:00 PM in New York, making it the most actively traded single-stock name by options volume today. Puts on the Blackberry maker are changing hands roughly 1.8 times for each single call option in action today. Trading in weekly options set to expire next Friday suggest some traders expect the price of the underlying to slump to fresh lows during the next five trading sessions. Bearish positions accumulated at the Dec. ’23 $14 strike, where more than 4,500 in-the-money puts changed hands against 1,082 open positions. It looks like most of the puts were purchased for an average premium of $0.83 each. Traders eyeing continued near-term weakness snapped up around 2,000 puts at the lower Dec. ’23 $13 strike at an average premium of $0.35 a-pop. Investors long the $13 strike puts may profit at expiration in the event that RIMM’s shares slip beneath the average breakeven point at $12.65. Call sellers also made an appearance in the weekly options, selling roughly 2,000 contracts at the Dec. ’23 $13 strike to pocket an average premium of $0.84 apiece. Investors selling the call options may walk away with the full amount of premium in hand as long as shares settle below $13.00 at expiration.…
by Phil Davis - December 14th, 2011 8:01 am
Do Ben Bernanke and I live on different planets? "For a lot of people," he said during a speech at Fort Bliss, "I know it doesn’t feel like the recession ever ended." For what people exactly, Dr. Bernanke, does it seem like it did end? Study after study after study show that, if you are not lucky enough to be in the top 10% of our society (and certainly not a shade of Johnson’s "Great Society" anymore) then you are pretty much f*cked – and, no, there’s not a nicer way to put it.
Bernanke seems to love the Great Depression so much he is Hell-bent on replicating it here so he can study it in greater detail. I suppose he has some sort of academic detachment regarding the untold suffering he is causing the American people but, who can blame him? He just got a great rate when he refinanced his $850,000 home.
Fortunately, we had complete confidence in Bernanke’s incompetence (see yesterday’s "To QE3 or not to QE3 – That Sets Direction") and, of course, we took advantage of yet another chance to short oil futures (/CL) off the $101 and then the $100 lines on the way down. We were HOPING (not a valid investing strategy) that we’d get some QE3 but, as I warned Members in the morning: "If not – well, Hell hath no fury like a market disappointed."
Clearly, as you can see from David Fry’s SPY chart – I was not overselling the point. Bernanke and the Fed are of the opinion that 10% unemployment is within their mandate of "promoting full employment" and don’t see the need to take action? Let’s have a little review of how good the Fed Chairman has been as a prognosticator for our economy as he enters his 7th year at the Fed:
by Option Review - December 1st, 2011 3:09 pm
Today’s tickers: RIMM, PIR, BKS & TWC
RIMM - Research in Motion, Ltd. – Renewed takeover speculation lifted shares in beaten-down Blackberry-maker Research in Motion this morning, spurring fresh bullish activity in weekly call options and driving options implied volatility on the stock higher. RIMM’s shares earlier rallied as much as 5.1% to $18.77, but have cooled somewhat as of 11:50 AM ET to stand a lesser 2.5% higher on the day at $18.30. Investors placing immediate-term bullish trades targeted the Dec. ’02 $18 and $19 strike calls, which have one full day of trading left to expiration. Traders paid an average premium of $0.45 apiece to pick up more than 1,100 in-the-money calls at the Dec. ’02 $18 strike, and shelled out an average of $0.16 in premium per contract for some 3,500 calls at the higher $19 strike. Meanwhile, the newly available weekly options that expire next Friday attracted the attention of speculators as well. Options traders purchased calls at the Dec. ’11 $19, $20, $21 and $22 strikes to position for RIMM’s shares to extend gains. Investors purchased roughly 850 calls at the Dec. ’11 $19 strike for an average premium of $0.53 each, and snapped up nearly 700 of the Dec. ’11 $20 strike calls at an average premium of $0.39 apiece. Call buyers at these strikes may profit at expiration next week in the event that shares in Research in Motion surge 6.7% and 11.4% over the current price of $18.30 to surpass the average breakeven prices of $19.53 and $20.39, respectively. Roughly 88,000 option contracts have changed hands on RIMM as of midday on the East Coast, with calls trading more than 2.3 times for each single put option in play.
PIR - Pier 1 Imports, Inc. – The home furnishings retailer popped up on our ‘hot by options volume’ market scanner this morning after one strategist initiated a bullish stance in March 2012 contract calls. The specialty retailer raised its third-quarter earnings estimate from $0.18 a share to a range of $0.20 to $0.21 a share, and said comparable store sales increased 7.0%. Shares in Pier 1 Imports are down 2.05% in early-afternoon trade to stand at $13.31, but one investor is preparing for the price of the underlying to realize significant gains over the next four months. It looks like the trader purchased 1,060 calls at the Mar. 2012 $17 strike for a premium of $0.40…