January 28, 2010 at 16:24 PM EST
Hewlett-Packard Bull Dabbles in Call Options
Today’s tickers: HPQ, GS, XLE, QCOM, JPM, TM, SLV, EK, GMCR & TYC HPQ – Hewlett-Packard Co. – Shares of technology giant, Hewlett-Packard Co., are down 3.5% to $47.70 this afternoon, but the actions of one option trader indicates the stock may rebound by expiration in March. Call activity in the March contract effectively mimics a ratio call spread strategy, which positions the investor to benefit from a move higher in share price in the next couple of months. The ratio call spread took place at the March $46 strike where 5,000 in-the-money calls were purchased for a premium of $3.20 apiece. At the higher March $50 strike, 10,000 call options were sold for an average premium of $1.15 each. Assuming both trades are the work of one investor, the net cost of the bullish move amounts to $0.90 per contract. Maximum potential profits of $3.10 per contract accrue to the upside if shares of the underlying rally to $50.00 by expiration. We note that shares of Hewlett-Packard last traded above $50.00 as recently as January 21, 2010. GS – Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. – A couple of contrasting option trades caught our eye this afternoon on investment banking institution, Goldman Sachs Group. Goldman’s shares edged 1.15% higher in late-day trading to stand at $153.22. The first and nearer-term of the two transactions appeared in the March contract. The sale of more than 6,800 call options at the March $160 strike for an average premium of $4.58 apiece is a bearish signal. Investors selling the calls apparently expect to keep the premium received today because they do not see Goldman’s share price rebounding to- or above $160.00 by expiration in March. Contrary to the call selling described previously, the April contract attracted bullish sentiment. One investor purchased a call spread by picking up 2,000 calls at the April $160 strike for a premium of $5.78 each, marked against the sale of 2,000 calls at the higher April $175 strike for about $2.05 apiece. The trader paid a net $3.73 per contract to position for a rebound in GS shares by expiration in three months time. Shares must rally approximately 7% from the current price before the call-spreader breaks even at a price of $163.73. Maximum potential profits of $11.27 per contract amass if shares surge more than 14% (from $153.22) to $175.00 ahead of April expiration. XLE – Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF – The energy…
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