Jud Pyle, CFA, is chief investment strategist for the Options News Network. He appeared today on Stockpickr Answers to respond to questions posed by members of the Stockpickr community. Not a member? Join the Stockpickr community today -- for free.
were up over 6% today. The shares of the education company have remained near their 52 week highs ever since announcing better than expected earnings on Jan. 8.
Jim Cramer talked positively about the shares on his Lightning Round OT segment Friday, citing it as one of the only growth stocks left in the market. But despite the bullish sentiments, at least one investor was betting that the shares will not top $100 between now and February option expiration on Feb. 20.
In the first two hours of trading today, over 10,000 of the APOL Feb 100 calls were sold vs. an open interest of 3,177. The prices of the sales ranged from 10 cents up to 20 cents with the stock trading around $83.85. That equated to an implied volatility of 45, but as I have noted in this column before, when an option is this far out of the money, it is more of a lottery ticket than a volatility play.
One of the things that is interesting about this trade is that as the day went on and shares of APOL rallied, the calls rallied as well, causing a loss for the seller. The calls closed the day at 35 cents, meaning that if assuming the average sale price was 15 cents, then the call-seller was down a quick $200,000 on the day. This rally in the calls was all due to the increase in the stock from $83.85 at the time of the trade up to $86.11 at the close.
This call activity does not mean that investors should run out and sell their shares. To the contrary, this could likely be one large investor who is willing to hold his shares, but believes that if the stock gets to $100 at February expiration, he would be willing to sell by having them called away. Here at $86, the investor is willing to hold the shares, suggesting that APOL should at least hold these levels.
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."