Barnes & Noble Draws Call-Buyers

By David Russell, reporter at OptionMonster

NEW YORK -- Traders turned bullish on Barnes & Noble ( BKS) on Wednesday.

OptionMonster's tracking systems detected early buying in the October 14 calls for 55 cents, with almost 1,200 contracts purchased in the first half-hour of trading. Volume exceeded open interest of 999 in the strike at the beginning of the day, indicating that new positions were initiated.

Later in the session, the trades were already paying off. As the stock surged as much as 12%, those October 14s almost tripled to $1.40. The book retailer ended the day up 8.18% at $14.94.

Calls lock in the price where investors can purchase shares. These options can generate significant leverage if the stock climbs, but they will lose most or all of their value in the absence of a rally.

In another big trade during the afternoon, investors bought the January 16 calls for $1.60 and sold the January 21s for 30 cents. The position cost $1.30 to open and will let them collect the $5 spread between the two strike prices if the stock goes to $21 -- a profit of 285% on a 40% in the share price.

Short interest is more than 25% of the float, which could trigger a big rally if those bears are forced to cover their positions.

Total option volume was times greater than average in the name Wednesday, with calls outnumbering puts by almost 2 to 1.

Russell has no positions in BKS.
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