By David Russell, reporter at OptionMonster
NEW YORK -- The bulls want to run with SM Energy (SM).
OptionMonster's tracking systems detected a giant upside trade in the wildcat oil company, which operates in Texas, Louisiana, and the Rockies. It entailed the purchase of 10,000 November 55 calls for $4.05, while equal-sized blocks were sold in the November 70 calls for $1.10 and the November 35 puts for $1.80. Volume was more than triple open interest in all three strikes.
Buying calls lock in the purchase price for a stock, while selling calls fixes the exit level. Selling puts obligates the investor to buy shares if they fall to the strike price or below.As a result, the investor paid $1.15 to enter the position. He will collect $15 if SM rallied back to $70, representing a profit of more than 1,200%. In addition to the initial outlay, the trader also stands to lose money on the short puts if the stock falls below $35. SM rose 7.16% to $49.11 on Friday but came into the session down by more than one-third during the preceding three months. Most energy stocks have been hammered in that time amid worries of financial contagion from Europe and a slow recovery in China. That sentiment has improved markedly in the last week as investors jump into beaten-down names in the sector. Friday's bullish trade in SM pushed total option volume in the stock to 24 times greater than average. Russell has no positions in SM.