Butterflies, Straddles and Spreads, Oh My!

HRS – Harris Corporation – A three-legged bullish play on the international communications and information technology company that serves government and commercial markets around the world indicates one option strategist expects shares of the underlying stock to rally significantly by expiration day in February 2011. Harris Corp.’s shares are up 0.95% at $44.46 just before 2:30 pm (ET), but earlier in the session rallied as much as 1.8% to an intraday high of $44.84. HRS shares moved higher on news the firm recently won a number of large contracts. One such contract is a 30-month, $25-million contract under the Network-Centric Solutions contract vehicle, which requires Harris to upgrade network infrastructure at 15 National Guard sites. Harris Corp. popped up on our ‘hot by options volume’ market scanner in the first half of the trading day following the implementation of a three-legged bullish transaction. The investor responsible for the trade essentially sold puts to finance the purchase of a debit call spread. In doing so, the trader sold 1,500 puts at the February 2011 $35 strike for a premium of $1.75 per contract, purchased 1,500 calls at the February 2011 $45 strike for a premium of $4.65 each, and sold 1,500 calls at the higher February 2011 $55 strike for premium of $1.20 apiece. The net cost of the transaction amounts to $1.70 per contract. Thus, the options player is poised to profit as long as Harris Corp.’s shares rally 5.00% over the current price of $44.46 to surpass the effective breakeven point at $46.70 by expiration day. The investor walks away with maximum potential profits of $8.30 per contract if HRS shares surge 23.7% to trade above $55.00 by February 2011 expiration. The short put stance at the February 2011 $35 strike implies the investor is happy to have 150,000 shares of the underlying stock put to him at $35.00 each should the puts land in-the-money by expiration day.

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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