Bull Buys Call Spread as Arena Pharmaceuticals’ Shares Soar

ARNA – Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – Shares of the clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company shot up 10.7% today to an intraday high of $5.89, inspiring one options strategist to purchase a debit put spread in the October contract. Arena’s shares have increased significantly since an FDA advisory panel said it does not recommend rival Vivus’ obesity drug, Qnexa, receive FDA approval. The bullish options investor prepared for continued upward movement in Arena’s shares by purchasing 3,000 now in-the-money calls at the October $5.0 strike for a premium of $2.45 each, and selling the same number of calls at the higher October $7.0 strike at a premium of $1.45 apiece. The net cost of the transaction amounts to $1.00 per contract. Thus, the trader is prepared to make money should the biopharmaceutical firm’s shares rally 1.85% over the current price of $5.89 to trade above the effective breakeven price of $6.00 by October expiration day. The investor walks away with maximum potential profits of $1.00 per contract if Arena’s shares surge 18.85% to exceed $7.00 by expiration. In the nearer-term September contract, another bullish player opted to sell 2,700 puts at the September $2.0 strike to take in an average premium of $0.30 per contract. The put seller keeps the premium received on the transaction as long as Arena’s shares trade above $2.00 through expiration day in September. Options implied volatility on ARNA is higher by 14.1% to 101.05% as of 2:55 pm (ET).

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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