CAL – Continental Airlines, Inc. – Shares in Continental Airlines are down 2.9% at $20.37 this morning, but one contrarian options strategist appears to be betting that the stock is unlikely to fall much further in the next couple of months. The investor initiated a bullish credit put spread, selling 5,000 puts at the October $20 strike for premium of $1.53 each, and buying the same number of puts at the lower October $18 strike at a premium of $0.89 apiece. The trader pockets a net credit of $0.64 per contract on the transaction and keeps the full amount as long as CAL’s shares exceed $20.00 through expiration day in October. Continental Airlines’ shares, at the current price of $20.37, are down 21.6% since July 27, 2010, when the stock was trading at approximately $25.99. The investor responsible for the credit spread does not expect shares will fall much lower, but is happy to have CAL shares put to him at an effective price of $19.36 each in the event that CAL shares continue to decline, and the puts land in-the-money at expiration. The trader is exposed to maximum potential losses of $1.36 per contract should the price of the underlying stock plunge 11.6% from the current price to trade beneath $18.00 by expiration day.