If my shares are called away before trading ex-dividend (resulting from the option buyer wanting the dividend), I gain about 46 cents. The most I can make is 62 cents if I hold the covered call through option expiration day and the stock gets called away.
Frontier Communications Corp. (FTR)
Frontier Communications Corp. provides communications services for residential and business customers in the U.S. The company was founded in 1927 and is based in Stamford, Conn.
Dividend Amount: 10 cents
Ex-Dividend Date: June 6, 2012
Strategy:This is a Lotto ticket play unless you're already bullish on Frontier. If you're bullish it may be better to buy the June $3.00 strike for 6 cents over intrinsic value instead of buying stock. At a current cost of about 35 cents, and virtually zero time decay between now and the day before trading ex-dividend, this is as close as you get to a free ride on Wall Street. Buying the option instead of the stock is like catching a falling knife with your bare hands vs. catching the knife with leather gloves on. You can cut your risk buying options to 10% for the same relative number of shares compared to buying the stock outright, giving up almost none of the upside for two weeks. Praxair, Inc. (PX) Praxair, Inc. engages in the production, distribution, and sale atmospheric and process gases, as well as surface coatings in North America, Europe, South America, and Asia.
Dividend Amount: 55 cents
Ex-Dividend Date: June 5, 2012
Beta: 0.84 Strategy: Like Frontier, only better, Praxair is another falling knife appearing to be ready for a bounce. I would wait and look for an entry price of less than $108 this week. A gap down like the one on March 6 followed by a reversal would get me interested. I would look to buy June $95.00 or $100 strike call for 20 cents over the intrinsic value. No reason to try to capture the dividend, the option will most likely get an early exercise and reaching for 55 cents with a $100 stock can end badly fast.
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