Option Activity Alert: PWRD, NIHD, COCO

PWRD – Perfect World Co., Ltd. – The online game developer popped up on our scanners this morning following a burst of bearish activity in March 2012 contract call and put options. It looks like much of the trading was initiated by one investor positioning for the price of the underlying to pull back further in the next four months to expiration. Shares in Perfect World Co. fell 6.8% to $11.59 by 12:25 PM in New York trade. The company is slated to report third-quarter earnings after the final bell this evening. It appears the options player purchased around 300 puts at the Mar. 2012 $11 strike, the nearest to-the-money strike put available, for an average premium of $1.92 apiece. Similar bearish activity was seen at the Mar. 2012 $10, $9.0, $8.0 and $7.0 strike prices. The investor purchased at least 290 and as many as 430 puts at each of the lower strikes for premiums ranging from $1.35 down at $0.52 a-pop. The investor starts making money on the Mar. 2012 $11 strike put position in the event that shares in Perfect World decline another 21.7% to breach the effective breakeven point on the downside at $9.08 by expiration day next year. Meanwhile, light call selling at the Mar. 2012 $12, $13, $14 and $15 strikes suggests the investor doubts shares in the name will rally above the current price level by expiration next year.

NIHD – NII Holdings, Inc. – Wireless communications company, NII Holdings, attracted heavier-than-usual activity in its options this morning. It appears one investor is taking a bearish stance on the stock, prepping for near double-digit declines in the price of the underlying by December expiration. Shares in NII Holdings, Inc. are down 4.05% to stand at $22.46 in early-afternoon trade. More than 3,000 put options changed hands at the Dec. $21 strike earlier in the session, against previously existing open interest of just 175 contracts. It looks like the investor purchased the majority of the puts for an average premium of $0.65 each. The trader may profit on the position at expiration next month in the event that NIHD’s shares drop 9.4% from the current price of $22.46 to breach the effective breakeven point on the downside at $20.35. Shares in NII Holdings last traded below $20.35 back in July 2009.

COCO – Corinthian Colleges, Inc. – Shares in the for-profit provider of post-secondary education services dropped 4.1% to $2.56 today, but activity in February contract call options suggests one investor is positioning for a rebound. The most active options on Corinthian Colleges are the Feb. 2012 $2.0 strike calls, where some 3,000 in-the-money contracts changed hands against previously existing open interest of 218 positions. It looks like one trader purchased most of the calls at a premium of $0.90 apiece. The call buyer may profit at expiration next year if COCO’s shares rally 13.3% over the current price of $2.56 to surpass the effective breakeven point on the upside at $2.90. The same trader appears to have also snapped up another 670 in-the-money calls at the higher Feb. $2.5 strike for an average premium of $0.55 each. Corinthian Colleges, Inc. is scheduled to report second-quarter earnings ahead of the opening bell on February 1, 2012.

About Caitlin Duffy 373 Articles

Affiliation: Interactive Brokers

Caitlin Duffy joined Interactive Brokers in 2009. In her role as Equity Options Analyst, Caitlin provides daily market commentary; highlighting various options trades, trading patterns and strategies of interest. Through Interactive Broker's webinar program, Ms. Duffy presents a number of educational, options-related events describing the theoretical pricing of options, the option Greeks as well as options strategies.

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