Massive Trade in American Eagle Calls Commands Attention
Today’s tickers: AEO, AMKR, SWFT & ELX AEO  - American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. –  Options on apparel retailer American Eagle are some of the most active today after one big player traded 65,000 February contract call options on the stock. Shares in the name surged 9.1% to an intraday high of $14.32 after June retail sales for apparel and teen stores came in far better than estimated. The run up in the price of the underlying today as well as the rise in implied volatility on the stock seem to have set the stage for the massive position initiated in AEO options. The trader sold some 65,000 calls at the February $15 strike, against nearly nonexistent open interest, to pocket premium of $1.10 per contract. Premium received on the trade amounts to $7.15 million, which the investor keeps as long as the calls expire worthless at expiration next year. The investor responsible for the transaction sees shares likely trading below $15.00 over the next eight months, but is on the hook to deliver a staggering 6.5 million shares of stock should the calls land in-the-money at expiration. American Eagle’s shares spent the majority of their days trading above $15.00 from around February 10 through May 5. It seems reasonable to suspect the stock could once again rally above that level, particularly given the occasional bouts of takeover rumors that have pushed shares higher in the past. The enormity of the transaction and the risk of potentially needing to fulfill the contractual obligation to deliver stock at $15.00, regardless of how expensive shares could be in the open market at that time, may mean the investor responsible for the trade is long the stock and selling covered calls. In this scenario the trader is happy to pocket the rich premium…
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