Commit To Buy HMS Holdings Corp At $17.50, Earn 8.5% Annualized Using Options

Investors considering a purchase of HMS Holdings Corp ( HMSY) stock, but tentative about paying the going market price of $21.48/share, might benefit from considering selling puts among the alternative strategies at their disposal. One interesting put contract in particular, is the June 2014 put at the $17.50 strike, which has a bid at the time of this writing of 95 cents. Collecting that bid as the premium represents a 5.4% return against the $17.50 commitment, or a 8.5% annualized rate of return (at Stock Options Channel we call this the YieldBoost).

START SLIDESHOW:
Top YieldBoost Puts of the S&P 500 »

Selling a put does not give an investor access to HMSY's upside potential the way owning shares would, because the put seller only ends up owning shares in the scenario where the contract is exercised. And the person on the other side of the contract would only benefit from exercising at the $17.50 strike if doing so produced a better outcome than selling at the going market price. ( Do options carry counterparty risk? This and six other common options myths debunked). So unless HMS Holdings Corp sees its shares fall 18.5% and the contract is exercised (resulting in a cost basis of $16.55 per share before broker commissions, subtracting the 95 cents from $17.50), the only upside to the put seller is from collecting that premium for the 8.5% annualized rate of return.

Below is a chart showing the trailing twelve month trading history for HMS Holdings Corp, and highlighting in green where the $17.50 strike is located relative to that history:

Loading+chart++2013+TickerTech.com

The chart above, and the stock's historical volatility, can be a helpful guide in combination with fundamental analysis to judge whether selling the June 2014 put at the $17.50 strike for the 8.5% annualized rate of return represents good reward for the risks. We calculate the trailing twelve month volatility for HMS Holdings Corp (considering the last 252 trading day closing values as well as today's price of $21.48) to be 32%. For other put options contract ideas at the various different available expirations, visit the HMSY Stock Options page of StockOptionsChannel.com.

In mid-afternoon trading on Thursday, the put volume among S&P 500 components was 572,484 contracts, with call volume at 572,484, for a put:call ratio of 0.72 so far for the day, which is above normal compared to the long-term median put:call ratio of .65. In other words, if we look at the number of call buyers and then use the long-term median to project the number of put buyers we'd expect to see, we're actually seeing more put buyers than expected out there in options trading so far today. Find out which 15 call and put options traders are talking about today.

null

If you liked this article you might like

Why the Boardroom Doesn't Need Ivy League Degrees

Why the Boardroom Doesn't Need Ivy League Degrees

Analysts' Actions -- Atlas Financial, Blackstone Mortgage, Citrix, Neff and More

Analysts' Actions -- Atlas Financial, Blackstone Mortgage, Citrix, Neff and More

Analysts' Actions -- HMS, NetApp, Urban Outfitters, United Rentals and More

Analysts' Actions -- HMS, NetApp, Urban Outfitters, United Rentals and More

HMS (HMSY) Stock Spiking on Q2 Earnings Beat

HMS (HMSY) Stock Spiking on Q2 Earnings Beat

HMS Holdings (HMSY) Showing Signs Of Being Strong And Under The Radar

HMS Holdings (HMSY) Showing Signs Of Being Strong And Under The Radar