Bears Binge on Put Options as Diamond Offshore Drilling Shares Nosedive

DO – Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. – Shares of the world’s largest U.S. deep-water oil driller fell as much as 7.6% to an intraday low and new 52-week low of $54.70 after reported the firm’s Ocean Saratoga rig is leaking crude into the Gulf of Mexico. Goldman Sachs’ ratings cut of Diamond Offshore shares to ‘sell’ from ‘neutral’, as well as a downgrade to ‘underperform’ from ‘market perform’ with a 12-month target share price of $54.00 at FBR Capital Markets, also helped drive the stock lower today. Bearish options investors populated the stock with pessimistic plays, buying near-term put options and selling calls in the June contract. Traders expecting Diamond’s shares to continue to decline purchased 1,200 now in-the-money puts at the June $58.63 strike for an average premium of $4.07 apiece. Investors holding these contracts profit if shares trade beneath the average breakeven price of $54.56 by June expiration. Buying interest spread to the lower June $54.88 strike where 1,100 puts were picked up for an average premium of $2.26 each. Another 1,100 puts were purchased at the June $53.63 strike for a premium of $1.82 per contract. Finally, uber-bearish players coveted 1,600 put options at the lower June $49.88 strike by paying an average premium of $0.92 apiece. Shares of the underlying stock must plunge 10.5% from the current intraday low of $54.70 before June $49.88 strike put buyers start to garner profits beneath the average breakeven price of $48.96. Investors not expecting Diamond’s shares to rally ahead of June expiration sold short 1,300 calls at the June $61.75 strike to pocket an average premium of $0.61 per contract. The premium is safe in call-sellers’ wallets as long as shares of the underlying stock trade below $61.75 through expiration day. Options implied volatility on Diamond Offshore Drilling is up 15.1% to 59.94% as of 3:10 pm (ET). Earlier implied volatility surged roughly 18% to 61.42%, DO’s highest reading of volatility in at least one year.

About Andrew Wilkinson 1023 Articles

Affiliation: Interactive Brokers

Andrew Wilkinson is the senior market analyst at Interactive Brokers Group, where he provides daily commentary and analysis on U.S. equity options trading throughout the trading day. Andrew provides webinars designed to explain option-related trading scenarios covering futures, fixed income, forex and equities.

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