RDC – Rowan Companies, Inc. – Shares of the manufacturer of equipment utilized in the drilling, mining and timber industries are lower by 3.90% to stand at $23.72 in late afternoon trading after the Obama administration extended a ban on offshore drilling. Rowan’s shares have recovered somewhat after plummeting 16.7% from an intraday high of $25.58 in morning trading down to an intraday low of $21.26 this afternoon. Bearish options traders scrambled to establish pessimistic positions in the June contract. Investors purchased 1,600 puts at the June $20 strike for an average premium of $0.41 apiece, suggesting some strategists are bracing for continued share price erosion ahead of June expiration. June $20 strike put buyers make money if Rowan’s shares slide 17.4% from the current price of $23.72 to breach the average breakeven point to the downside at $19.59. Investors also purchased 1,300 puts at the higher June $22.5 strike for a premium of $0.93 each, and picked up roughly 2,400 in-the-money puts at the June $25 strike for an average premium of $1.95 per contract. Other pessimistic players not expecting shares to recover ahead of June expiration sold 1,000 calls at the June $25 strike for a premium of $0.38 each. Call-sellers keep the premium pocketed on the transaction as long as Rowan’s shares fail to rally above $25.00 by June expiration.
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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