CHICAGO ( TheStreet) -- Although AES ( AEX), an electric utilities company, has not reported any news since its earnings release at the end of February, at least one option investor has taken a bullish stance by buying a longer-dated call.

AES shares have gained nine cents to $11.67 so far Monday. The stock is currently trading roughly 21% off its September-high of $15. By 1 p.m. EST, more than 20,500 out-of-the-money January 2011 12.5 calls had crossed the tape versus current open interest of 4,700 contracts.

The volume and open interest discrepancy indicates investors traded these options to open. These calls crossed the tape at the ask price of $1.30 per contract, suggesting the majority of the action occurred on the buy-side.

Implied volatility of the January 2011 12.5 calls is 36%, compared to a 30-day historical volatility of 38%. These calls have gained five cents on the day, thanks to the buying action we saw earlier. AES has not announced its next earnings release date, but the market expects the report sometime around May 6. It looks like at least one investor decided to use options as a cheaper way to be long shares of AES.

-- Written by Jud Pyle in Chicago
At the time of publication, Pyle did not have a position in the stock mentioned. 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."