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Sotheby’s Put Options In Focus

Shares in Sotheby’s are in negative territory on Thursday morning, off 1.3% to stand at $39.67 one hour into the trading session. Options activity on the auction house suggests some traders are positioning for the price of the underlying to potentially drop substantially this summer. Traders initiating August expiry bear put spreads on BID today may be positioning ahead of the company’s second-quarter earnings report expected out in August.
As of the time of this writing more than 2,400 put options have traded at both the Aug 35.0 and 40.0 strikes. It looks like most of the volume is part of the spread trade purchased at a net premium of around $1.25 per contract. The position starts making money if shares in Sotheby’s decline 2.3% from the current level to trade below the breakeven price of $38.75, with maximum possible profits of $3.25 per contract available on the spread in the event that BID shares slump 12% to $35.00 at expiration. Shares in Sotheby’s last traded below $35.00 back in May of 2013. The stock has declined more than 25% since the start of 2014.


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