July 26, 2010 at 16:31 PM EDT
Delta-Neutral Trade Suggests Guarded Optimism on Ventas Ahead of Q2 Earnings
Today’s tickers: VTR, BIDU, WAT, DHI, LCC, ODP, GAP & ISLN VTR - Ventas, Inc. – Shares of the REIT with a portfolio of seniors housing and healthcare properties in the U.S. and Canada rallied as much as 2.04% this afternoon to reach an intraday- and new 52-week high of $51.57. Ventas popped up on our ‘hot by options volume’ market scanner in the second half of the trading session after one cautiously optimistic investor bought a large amount of stock in combination with a delta neutral put spread in the August contract. The transaction shows guarded optimism by one investor ahead of the firm’s second-quarter earnings report scheduled for release ahead of the opening bell on Wednesday morning. The options strategist paid a premium of $1.05 per contract for an 8,500-lot August $40/$50 debit put spread with a .32 delta tied to the purchase of 272,000 Ventas shares at $51.37 each. The investor is hoping to see shares rally to new highs following earnings, but has shelled out extra premium in order to get long downside protection in case Ventas’ shares decline. BIDU - Baidu, Inc. – The Chinese-language internet search provider’s shares jumped 3.6% to an intraday high of $80.87 today after the firm received an upgrade to ‘buy’ from ‘neutral’ with an increased target share price estimate of $92.00 from $69.00 at UBS. Shares were also lifted higher on news Baidu is in talks with mobile phone makers to discuss use of the firm’s search box on devices sold in China. The price of the underlying stock is currently up 2.05% on the day to arrive at $79.67 as of 3:00 pm (ET). Options players itching for continued appreciation in the price of the underlying shares through the end of this month purchased weekly call options on the stock that are set to expire on July 30. Investors picked up 1,000 calls at the July $80 strike for an average premium of $1.48 each. Call buyers at this strike make money if Baidu’s shares rally another 2.3% to trade above the average breakeven price of $81.48 by expiration day. Optimistic individuals looking for BIDU’s shares to hit a new 52-week high before the week is through purchased some 2,100 call options at the higher July $85 strike for an average premium of $0.29 a-pop. Shares must increase at least 7.05% in order for July $85 strike call buyers to make money…
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