By Jud Pyle, CFA, chief investment strategist for the Options News NetworkRight out of the gate today, an investor's put spread purchase trumped normal daily options volume in First Solar ( FSLR) despite a positive outlook from analysts. More than 30,000 FSLR options traded across all strikes before midday, the bulk of which changed hands when an investor sold 11,300 Aug. 115 puts and bought the Aug. 125 puts 11,300 times. The investor paid $2.20 per spread with the stock at $144.97 a share. Normal daily options volume in FSLR options is approximately 22,000 contracts. The volume weighted average price (VWAP) of the Aug. 115 puts is $2.7070, and the Aug. 125 puts have a VWAP of $4.8981 (the premium paid is arrived at by subtracting the VWAP of the option the investor sold from the VWAP of the put bought). The Aug. 115 puts, which are currently trading up 43 cents on the day, are home to current open interest of 492 contracts. The Aug. 125 puts have gained 75 cents so far today and are home to current open interest of 900 contracts. It's interesting that at least one investor is bucking the recent bullish trend by taking a bearish stance on solar stocks after a Credit Suisse analyst said he sees preconditions for a bubble in the sector. Credit Suisse said FSLR was one of the stocks that is "best leveraged" to take advantage of the potential bubble that could surface as early as next year.
FSLR second-quarter earnings are due on July 29. Analysts expect a 36-cent drop in earnings, even after the solar semiconductor manufacturer beat analysts' estimates by 50 cents last quarter. FSLR is approximately 30% off its recent high of $202.40 reached on May 20, and it looks like at least one investor could be betting that the stock could decline further. Meet Jud Pyle live in Las Vegas at the Forex & Options Expo. Click here to find out more. 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.