With one week remaining before options expire, earnings chatter continues to fuel activity in the market.
Oil drilling services firm
saw plenty of put activity on the
Chicago Board Options Exchange
Philadelphia Stock Exchange
today. The rumpus comes on the heels of a business outlook from fellow driller
last Thursday. Rowan said the third-quarter outlook for drilling and oilfield firms was uncertain. The news, combined with the recent drop in crude oil prices, caused oil stocks to tumble. The
CBOE Oil Index
is down 12% since May 18.
The July 30 put options on B.J. Services traded 6,800 contracts on open interest of 7,632, as the premium has jumped up to $7.70 ($770) ahead of its earnings announcement, which is scheduled for July 24. The August 25 puts traded 6,800 contracts on open interest of 418, at $3.70 ($370) a pop. In June,
reported heavy put-buying in the July 30 options with an investor
rolling down from the July 35 puts. Since then, the stock has lost nearly 20% to $23.70 as of Friday's close, which prompted the investor to roll down yet again.
"The customer sold the July 30 puts to close, and bought the August 25 puts to open a new position," said Brian Carr, a specialist at Letco, the designated primary market maker in BJ Services. "If I had to guess,
the investor is long the stock and does not want to sell out his position, so by rolling down he is buying himself some time."
Shares of B.J. Services traded down 8.1% to $21.65 in regular-session trading on the
New York Stock Exchange