Despite the economic turmoil in Europe, Avis continues to successfully expand its presence there, relying on and seeking out new partnerships. But it hardly relies on Europe for a significant portion of its business. According to the company's most recent quarterly report
(via the SEC Website)
, approximately two-thirds of its business happens domestically. And not all of its international business comes from Europe.
I like CAR as a long-term play despite recent volatility. In these types of situations, I often write covered calls as I buy the stock. This provides income, which doubles as downside protection. You must be bullish long-term to employ this strategy. If the stock drops considerably you could be stuck with a losing trade.
Consider the following example to how covered call income offsets a decrease in the value of the stock leg of the trade.
If you purchased 100 shares of CAR at this past Friday's closing price of $15.92 per share, you're in for $1,592. You proceed with a normal, un-hedged stock trade.
If, however, you sell the CAR Nov 2012 $18 call and collect 90 cents (though I might hold out for 95 cents or $1.00 using a limit order), you lower your effective purchase price of the stock. It comes down to $15.02 because the 90 cents worth of income comes into your account as a credit. You spend $1,592 on the stock and receive $90 (options use a multiplier of 100) to sell (or write) the call. That means you're on the hook for $1,502.
You do not start to lose money on this trade until CAR breaches $15.02. That gives you some breathing room.
On the flip side, you supercharge your potential gains.
Consider a scenario where your shares get called away at $18. If you sold 100 shares of CAR, purchased for $15.92 each, at $18, you realize a 13.1% profit. Factor in the covered call income you received and that gain kicks up to approximately 19%.
While some investors consider options inherently risky, many strategies, particularly ones such as covered calls that provide a built-in hedge, actually mitigate at least some risk.
To that end, while I would buy TSLA, ZIP and CAR over F and GM in the near-term. If I had to touch F and GM I would not do it without the support of covered calls.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.