V – Visa, Inc. – Shares of the global payments company plunged 4.7% this afternoon to an intraday and new 52-week low of $64.90 following reports that said federal caps and pending litigation may limit Visa’s ability to increase prices. The price of the underlying was also helped lower by a downgrade to ‘market perform’ from ‘outperform’ at Sanford Bernstein, where analysts have a 12-month target price of $77.00 a share on the stock. The sharp decline in the price of the credit card issuer’s shares inspired near-term bearish options trading. More interesting, however, were the contrarian players seen initiating bullish positions in the longer-dated January 2012 contract. One optimistic strategist enacted a three-legged bullish combination play to position for a rebound in Visa’s shares. The investor appears to have sold roughly 2,500 puts at the January 2012 $50 strike for premium of $4.39 each, purchased about the same number of January 2012 $70 strike calls at an average premium of $8.37 a-pop, and sold approximately 2,500 calls at the higher January 2012 $90 strike for a premium of $2.50 apiece. The average net cost of the transaction reduces to $1.48 per contract. Thus, the contrarian player stands ready to make money should Visa’s shares jump 10.1% over today’s low of $64.90 to exceed the average breakeven price of $71.48 by expiration day. Maximum potential profits of $18.52 per contract are available to the investor should shares surge 38.7% to trade above $90.00 by January 2012 expiration. Visa’s shares last traded above $90.00 back on May 4, 2010. Options implied volatility on Visa, Inc. is up 10.8% at 33.75% with just over 20 minutes remaining ahead of the closing bell.
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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