CenterPoint Activity Draws Major Attention

By Pete Najarian, co-founder of OptionMonster

NEW YORK -- It was hard to take my eyes off CenterPoint Energy ( CNP) on Tuesday.

The public-utility holding company is engaged in the transmission and distribution of electricity, serving approximately 2 million metered customers in Texas. The company beat on earnings and upped its guidance earlier this month. Its key growth drivers include stable regulated operations, higher rates, ongoing infrastructure development projects and a strong balance sheet.

The options started lighting up around the noon hour Tuesday as I left the "Fast Money Half Time" show on CNBC. The November 20 calls traded in a hurry, with more than 5,000 hitting for $1.05 and $1.10 in just four minutes. A few of the February of 2013 calls traded as well.

Those options lock in the price investors must pay to buy shares, which gives them nice leverage in the event of a rally. But if CenterPoint doesn't move the calls will lose value over time. If it drops, they could become worthless.

CenterPoint rose 0.68% to $20.60 Tuesday, and is bouncing at its 100-day moving average. More than 7,000 calls traded vs. just 50 puts. Total volume was about 14 times normal levels.

Najarian has no positions in CNP.
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