NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Fast money traders hit the jackpot in casino operator Boyd Gaming (BYD) yesterday.

OptionMonster's tracking systems detected early buying in the February 13 calls for 47 cents to 60 cents. About 12,000 contracts had changed hands at the time of our initial alert, followed by almost 8,000 more by the end of the session.

Calls lock in the price where investors can buy a stock. Their cheap cost means that less capital is risked than is the case by owning shares. (See our education section.) They can also generate significant leverage on a percentage basis, as we saw yesterday.

Boyd stock pushed higher and closed up 5.51% at $12.82. But that gain was chump change compared with the February 13 calls, which doubled to $1.05 in the afternoon.

The stock has been snaking higher since mid-October, and remains within its range over the last 18 months. It's also the only casino stock that's up since the start of 2014, according to our proprietary ResearchLab market scanner.

Overall option volume was more than 100 times greater than average in the session, with calls accounting for about 90% of the total.

(A version of this post appeared on InsideOptions Pro yesterday.)


TheStreet Ratings team rates BOYD GAMING CORP as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate BOYD GAMING CORP (BYD) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed ? some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company has favored debt over equity in the management of its balance sheet."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: BYD Ratings Report

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