CYTK – Cytokinetics, Inc. – One bullish options investor appears to be taking advantage of the massive pullback in the price of the biopharmaceutical company’s shares today by initiating a sizeable buy-write strategy using call options expiring in June of 2011. Cytokinetics’ shares fell as much as 23.2% during the session to touch an intraday low of $2.25 despite seemingly positive results from its Phase 2a trial of its experimental drug therapy aimed at improving quality of life for patients suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease. Reports indicated the firm plans to launch another mid-stage trial to test multiple doses of the drug over a three-month period in the first half of 2011. The covered-call seller populating CYTK today is well positioned to benefit from a rebound in the price of the underlying shares in the first half of 2011. It looks like the investor purchased 395,000 shares of CYTK at a price of $2.32 each, and sold 3,950 calls at the June 2011 $2.5 strike for a premium of $0.45 a-pop. The sale of the call options effectively reduces the price paid to get long the stock from $2.32 a share to $1.87 each. Thus, the buy-write strategist is positioned to accrue maximum gains of 33.7% on the long stock position in the event that Cytokinetics’ shares surge 11.1% over today’s low of $2.25 to exceed $2.50 a share ahead of expiration day in June. The investor may have the underlying stock position called from him at $2.50 each if the calls land in-the-money at expiration, thus allowing him to exit the position with the 33.7% rise in shares from $1.87 to $2.50. More than 4,050 calls changed hands at the June 2011 $2.5 strike today, versus previously existing open interest of just 451 contracts at that strike.
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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