CHICAGO ( -- By Jud Pyle, CFA, chief investment strategist for the Options News Network

Viacom ( VIA.B) (class-B shares) announced a 32% drop in profit, and earnings per share of 49 cents, on Tuesday. At least one investor, who is not absolutely impressed, sold off some calls in Thursday's session.

During afternoon trading yesterday, an investor sold 20,000 VIA-B Sept. 20 calls at $3.95, with the stock trading at $23.85 a share; these calls had a volume-weighted average price of $4 on the day. The calls traded 20,000 times and climbed 45 cents on the day vs. open interest of 21,353 contracts. In February, we saw the same investor buy to open this order for $1.40, with the shares trading around $14.85.

Normal daily options volume across all strikes in VIA.B is slightly more than 2,000 contracts, compared to the 21,000 contracts that changed hands yesterday. We barely saw any options activity in any other strike, except for the Sept. 20 calls.

The stock closed up 56 cents to $23.66 Thursday. VIA.B shares have rallied more than 76% since March 9, and the investor is likely taking profit after the run in the stock on a bet that upside will subside.

Jud Pyle is the chief investment strategist for Options News Network and the portfolio manager of Options Alerts. Click here for a free trial for Options Alerts. Mr. Pyle writes regularly about options investing for
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."

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