WBMD – WebMD Health Corp. – Shares of the provider of health information services to consumers, physicians and healthcare professionals surged 7.45% to an intraday high of $50.77 by 11:50 am ET, trading just $0.42 below the stock’s current 52-week high of $51.19. WebMD reported net income of $0.13 per share for the second quarter this past Tuesday, swinging to profitability from losses experienced in the same quarter last year. The price of the underlying stock shot up after the firm announced it will pay $50 per share, a 5.8% premium over Wednesday’s closing value, to buyback up to 3 million of its shares. Bullish options players took advantage of the situation by selling near-term put options. Traders shed approximately 1,300 puts at the August $50 strike to pocket an average premium of $0.90 per contract. Put sellers keep the full premium received on the sale as long as WBMD’s shares exceed $50.00 through expiration day in August. Investors short the puts are apparently happy to have WebMD shares put to them at an effective price of $49.10 should the puts land in-the-money at expiration. The overall reading of options implied volatility on WBMD plunged 14.3% to 21.82% by 12:00 pm ET.
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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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