First Data Calls Profit Fivefold on Earnings

First Data Corp. (FDC) is trading near a 52-week high after strong quarterly results released last week, yielding exponential profits on bullish option positions.

On April 10, Investitute's tracking systems detected the purchase of 8,100 January $17 calls, expiring on January 18, for $1.45 to $1.50 with shares at $15.55. Volume was well above the strike's open interest of 6,508 contracts, indicating that this was fresh buying.

Investors likely purchased these calls to capture the next few quarterly earnings reports, with the underlying belief that the payments-space would continue to see broad growth, causing FDC shares to increase in value.

Those August $17 calls traded for $7.40 on Monday, August 6, more than 5 times their initial purchase price prices. The stock surged 54.8% in the same time period, a huge move but still nowhere near that of its options. Investitute co-founder Pete Najarian cited further buying in October calls Thursday, on CNBC's "Halftime Report."

Long calls lock in the price where investors can buy a stock, letting them position for a rally at limited cost with the potential for significant leverage. They carry less risk than owning shares because the most that can be lost is the price of the options no matter how far the stock might fall.

First Data was up 0.67% to close at $24.10 on August 6. The electronic-payment company blew past earnings and revenues estimates on July 30.

Contributed by Investitute. TheStreet has an affiliate partnership with Investitute.

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