By Mike Yamamoto, managing editor of OptionMonster
NEW YORK -- Traders are looking for a rally in Midstates Petroleum (MPO) by next spring.
More than 3,600 March 7.50 calls traded in a bullish pattern for 40 cents to 50 cents on Thursday, according to OptionMonster's tracking systems. The volume was well above the strike's previous open interest of 994 contracts, indicating that these are new positions.
These calls lock in the price where the stock can be purchased through mid-March 2014 no matter how far it might rise. They could be sold earlier for a profit if premiums gain with a rally before then, but the contracts will expire worthless if shares remain below the $7.50 strike price.Midstates shares rose 1.49% to $5.46 Thursday. The stock spiked higher on Sept. 11 when the Houston-based oil company reported improving production numbers, but shares have been trading in an increasingly tight range since then. Thursday's trades pushed total option volume in the name above 4,200 contracts, more than 24 times its daily average. Only 180 of those options were puts, another sign of bullish sentiment in the name. Yamamoto has no positions in MPO