June 17, 2011 at 20:00 PM EDT
Big Payday for Pre-Earnings Put Buyer on RIMM
Today’s tickers: RIMM, TMO, CNO & PIP RIMM  - Research In Motion Ltd. –  Ouch. Shares in the BlackBerry maker plunged 23.35% today to an intraday- and four-year low of $27.08 following the release of worse-than-anticipated first-quarter earnings on Thursday after the close. Ongoing concerns regarding RIMM’s ability to stay competitive in the smartphone market coupled with the company’s second revision lower to earnings estimates for the full year were reason enough for investors to punish the stock. Options volume on Research In Motion is greater than 565,000 contracts as of 1:05pm in New York. Puts are trading roughly 1.75 times to each single call option in play this afternoon. Trading traffic is heaviest in June contract options expiring today, while weekly options expiring next Friday generated interest, as well. Nearer-term contracts are certainly the most popular today, but traders are also generating substantial volume in longer-dated options. The largest single print in options on the stock thus far in the session appears to be the work of one strategist profiting from RIMM’s pain. It looks like the investor purchased roughly 30,000 puts at the January 2012 $35 strike for a premium of $4.80 on Wednesday. The nose-dive in the price of the underlying stock sent premium on those puts flying, and it appears the trader sold the position for $7.80 a-pop within the first 25 minutes of the opening bell this morning. In roughly 48 hours, the put buyer has banked net profits of $3.00 per contract on the position, or total gains of approximately $9 million. Next, it looks like the investor extended bearish sentiment on the stock by purchasing another chunk of around 30,000 puts at the lower January 2012 $30 strike for a premium of $4.76 each. The fresh lot of puts position the trader to profit should shares in RIMM trade beneath the effective breakeven price of $25.24 at expiration next year. Of course, the put buyer need not wait until expiration to take profits on position if…
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