ORCL – Oracle Corp. – Shares of the software company rallied as much as 1.45% this afternoon to touch an intraday high of $25.75, which is just $0.88 below the stock’s current 52-week high of $26.63. Options activity on Oracle is quite active ahead of the firm’s first-quarter earnings report scheduled for release after the closing bell tomorrow evening. One options investor hoping to see Oracle’s shares extend gains through the start of 2011 initiated a delta neutral hedge in the January 2011 contract. It looks like the trader purchased a total of 12,500 puts at the January 2011 $21 strike for a premium of $0.45 apiece, tied to the purchase of a large number of ORCL shares for $25.65 each, on a 0.15 delta. The long position in shares suggests perhaps that the investor expects tomorrow’s earnings report to lift shares and/or foresees continued bullish movement in the price of the underlying stock over the next 5 months. But, the put options serve as a type of insurance policy for the trader in case Oracle’s shares falter going forward. Options investors exchanged more than 77,800 contracts on the software maker by 3:10 pm ET.