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Dykstra: Novartis an Elixir in Queasy Market

With much of the business world expected to be on hiatus for the last official week of summer, many expected a largely uninteresting week. However, Tuesday became interesting after the Federal Reserve released its minutes and the market turned quickly south.

In times like these, it pays to keep faithful to the deep-in-the-money call strategy. DITM calls still leave four to seven months to allow the market to accommodate any short-term fluctuations. Within that time, assuming we make prudent selections, our stocks will enjoy at least one quick move upward on which we can capitalize.

Lately I have focused on raw materials and pharmaceutical companies because these industries provide value for investors, in addition to steady income.

Regardless of various macroeconomic developments, people need their medicines. So now is a great time to invest in Novartis (NVS), which closed at $52.20 on Tuesday.

With any company, but particularly in the pharmaceutical industry, cash on hand plays a crucial role in determining investment potential. Novartis has $2.84 billion in free cash flow, which gives it the resources and flexibility necessary to invest in research and development, in addition to partnering with smaller, up-and-coming firms.

Furthermore, the company's quarterly revenue growth comes in at a strong 17.6%, meaning that not only does this company provide shareholders value, it also provides strong growth. A company with nearly 20% growth should trade with a forward P/E price-to-earnings-ratio-p-e of more than 14.5. As a result, I will place a limit order to buy 10 contracts of the April 45 calls (NVSDI) for $9.50 or better.

In addition to Novartis, I will be increasing my position in two DITM calls that are in play today, as they are phenomenal deals. As of today, I own 60 contracts of Massey Energy (MEE), which was upgraded by UBS Thursday in anticipation of a rebound in coal prices.

Analyst Shneur Gershuni said Massey stands to benefit from improving industry fundamentals. "Power generation demand continues to grow, particularly from coal-fired sources, and producers have actively scaled back production to offset rising inventories." In light of this news, and while the options are so unbelievably cheap, I will purchase 30 additional contracts of Massey's October 20s (MEEJD) at $1.20 or better.

I will also be purchasing 20 more contracts of the Methanex (MEOH) October 20s for $2.20, or better. I am a firm believer in taking advantage of the market when conditions arise. When it seems like everyone is selling, I am buying.

For those of you that ask me every day, "Why do you only use deep-in-the-money calls?" Simple answer: When volatility surfaces, my DITM strategy sets up very nicely. Since I go four to seven months until the expiration date, a day like Tuesday is no big deal.

Now, as I do every Wednesday, it is time to face the music. Accountability -- that's the name of the game.



At the time of publication, Dykstra was long MEE and MEOH.

Nicknamed 'Nails' for his tough style of play, Lenny is a former Major League Baseball player for the 1986 World Champions, New York Mets and the 1993 National League Champions, Philadelphia Phillies. A three time All-Star as a ballplayer, Lenny now serves as president for several privately held businesses in Southern California. He is the founder of The Players Club; it has been his desire to give back to the sport that gave him early successes in life by teaching athletes how to invest and protect their incomes. He currently manages his own portfolio and writes an investment strategy column for TheStreet.com, and is featured regularly on CNBC and other cable news shows. Lenny was selected as OverTime Magazine's 2006-2007 "Entrepreneur of the Year."

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