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Bears Bulk Up On Best Buy Puts Ahead Of Earnings

Options volume on Best Buy is almost three times the average daily reading for the stock today, with more than 20,000 contracts traded on the consumer electronics retailer versus average daily volume of around 7,600 contracts. Shares in Best Buy are suffering this afternoon, down more than 5.0% at $24.66 as of 2:15 p.m. ET on a down day for U.S. stocks. Much of the options action in BBY today is in puts on the name, with the put/call ratio hovering near 3.1 as of the time of this writing.

Near-term bearish positioning in Best Buy options suggests some traders may be looking for the price of the underlying to extend losses, perhaps leading up to and following the retailer’s first-quarter earnings report on May 22nd. The 23May’14 24.0 strike puts traded upwards of 3,300 times so far today, with much of the activity occurring in the first hour of the session. Time and sales data suggests most of the 24.0 puts were purchased at an average premium of $0.41 each. Traders long the contracts may profit at expiration in the event that Best Buy shares drop 4.0% from the current level to trade below the average breakeven price of $23.59.

Also active this morning were the Jun 20.0 strike puts, which traded more than 3,000 times, albeit against sizable open interest of 7,131 contracts. The 20.0 strike put options appear to have been purchased at a premium of $0.12 each. These far out-of-the-money put options may be profitable at expiration next month if shares in BBY drop nearly 20% to $19.88, the lowest level since March 2013.


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