By Jud Pyle, CFA, chief investment strategist for the Options News Network
shares are selling off, along with the broader market, but at least one options investor expects to see a silver lining during the later term, and is expressing that bet by buying a call spread.
Around 11 a.m. EST, an investor bought the June 31-36 call spread 10,000 times for a net debit of 96 cents per spread. The June 31 calls crossed at a premium of $1.26 per contract, and the investor helped finance that purchase by selling the June 36-strike calls for 30 cents per contract.
This investor will make a maximum profit of $4.04 per spread (the difference between the strike prices minus the premium paid) if SU shares close at $36 or higher on June options expiration. While the investor expects upside in the stock, this trade protects against a significant drop in the stock, with maximum loss capped at 96 cents per spread (the premium paid).
The June 31 calls have an implied volatility of 37%, and implied volatility of the June 36 calls is 35%. This compares to a 30-day historical volatility of 32%.
SU did not announce any news this morning, and the stock has dropped 84 cents, or nearly 3%, to $28.30 without a clear catalyst. It's interesting that one investor is calling for at least 27% of upside throughout the next four months, especially since the stock has not climbed higher than $36 since January.
Jud Pyle is the chief investment strategist for Options News Network and the portfolio manager of TheStreet.com Options Alerts. Click here for a free trial for Options Alerts. Mr. Pyle writes regularly about options investing for TheStreet.com.
Jud Pyle, CFA, is the chief investment strategist for Options News Network. Pyle started his career in finance in 1994 as a derivative analyst with SBC Warburg. After four years with Warburg, Pyle joined PEAK6 Investments, L.P., in 1998 as an equity options trader and as chief risk officer. A native of Minneapolis, Pyle received his bachelor's degree in economics and history from Colgate University in 1994. As a trader, Pyle traded on average over 5,000 contracts per day, and over 1.2 million contracts per year. He also built the stock group for all PEAK6 Investments, L.P. hedging, which currently trades on average over 5 million shares per day, and over 1 billion shares per year. Further, from 2004-06, he managed the trading and risk management for PEAK6 Investments L.P.'s lead market-maker operation on the former PCX exchange, which traded more than 10,000 contracts per day. Pyle is the "Mad About Options" resident expert. He is also a regular contributor to "Options Physics."