By Jud Pyle, CFA, chief investment strategist for the Options News Network
Bearish investors in
Research In Motion
have an abundant supply of puts to buy thanks to at least one investor who's selling puts today.
By midday, 16,000 June 60 puts had changed hands vs. current open interest of 21,075. These options were trading down seven cents from yesterday's close. In addition, we saw a big seller in the June 70 puts. About 9,000 of these puts traded vs. current open interest of 11,300. This computes to an implied volatility of 62.6 for the June 60 puts and an implied volatility of 59.1 for the June 70 puts.
Trading at an average price of 86 cents on the day, June 60 puts closed down 8 cents at 85 cents today. The June 70 puts, which had an average price of $3.63 on the day, closed down 10 cents at $3.50.
After a nice run-up over the last couple months, Research In Motion shares are down 95 cents to $72.03 so far today. The stock is up more than 100% since March 9 when it hit a 52-week low of $36.34. Investors could be showing bullishness going into Memorial Day weekend despite the drop in RIMM stock. They could also be betting that the RIMM shares will not sink below $59.14 by June expiration.
RIMM shares are traditionally big movers, and the reports that RIMM surpassed
(AAPL) in market share as a smart-phone creator could be one reason that we're seeing significant put-selling today. RIMM also introduced a new smart-phone this morning, the BlackBerry Pearl Flip.
Put-selling activity such as this, typically bullish in nature, does not mean investors should run out and buy RIMM shares. It's interesting that at least one investor is selling RIMM puts, betting on limited downside less than a month from the company's scheduled earnings date.
RIMM earnings beat analysts' estimates by 6 cents per share in the fourth quarter. Analysts also expect the company to report earnings of about 93 cents per share next quarter, which could be another reason why one investor is maintaining a bull's eye on RIMM.
Jud Pyle is the chief investment strategist for Options News Network (www.ONN.tv) 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."