DELL – Dell, Inc. – Shares of the world’s third-largest personal computer maker fell as much as 3.5% this morning to touch an intraday low of $11.69 after analysts at Morgan Stanley, citing global PC weakness due to tablet competition, cut their rating on Dell to ‘underweight’ from ‘equal-weight.’ One bearish options trader is positioning for shares to head lower ahead of October expiration, but does not appear to expect the stock to collapse any time soon. The investor initiated a ratio put spread, buying 4,100 now in-the-money puts at the October $12 strike at a premium of $0.55 each, and selling 8,200 puts at the lower October $11 strike for a premium of $0.21 apiece. Net premium paid to establish the ratio spread amounts to $0.13 per contract. Thus, the bearish player is poised to profit should Dell’s shares slip beneath the effective breakeven price of $11.87 by expiration day next month. Maximum potential profits of $0.87 per contract are available should shares shed another 8.00% to settle at $11.00 at expiration. In order to attain maximum profits on the position, shares of the underlying stock must fall through the current 52-week low of $11.34, set on August 24, 2010.
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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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