Bevy of Bears Bombard as Shares Continue Descent

CTRP – International, Ltd. – Shares of the consolidator of hotel accommodations and airline tickets in China fell as much as 17.65% during the first half of the trading session to touch down at an intraday low of $31.35. Today’s low point of $31.35 for CTRP shares marks an overall 42.3% decline in the price of the stock in just over two weeks time since shares touched an intraday high of $47.01 on June 21, 2010. Shares declined recently on news airlines in China plan to cut commission rates for some domestic flights. The price of the underlying stock was also helped lower by a host of analyst downgrades such as the cut to ‘hold’ from ‘buy’ with a 12-month target price of $42.00 at Deutsche Bank on June 29. Bearish investors dominated the options playing field on International today with call selling and put buying taking place in the July and August contracts. Pessimistic players expecting shares to continue lower ahead of July expiration picked up roughly 800 puts at the July $25 strike for an average premium of $0.15 apiece. Buying interest spread to the higher July $30 strike where 1,200 put options were purchased for an average premium of $0.76 each. Investors long the July $30 strike puts make money if CTRP’s shares decline another 6.7% from today’s low of $31.35 to breach the average breakeven point to the downside at $29.24 by July expiration day. Bearish individuals holding out little hope for a near-term rebound in CTRP’s shares shed 1,000 calls at the July $32 strike to pocket an average premium of $1.83 apiece. Call sellers at this strike keep the full premium received on the transaction as long as shares fail to rally above $32.00 by July expiration. Another 1,000 calls were sold at the higher July $37 strike for an average premium of $0.43 each. Finally, pessimists picked up 1,000 bearish put options at the August $25 strike for a volume-weighted average premium of $0.85 a-pop. Investors long the puts at this strike price accrue profits if, by August expiration, shares of the underlying stock fall another 23% from today’s low to breach the average breakeven point at $24.15. Rapid erosion in CTRP’s shares and greater demand for options on the stock boosted the overall reading of options implied volatility on 17% to 70.73% by 12:50 pm (ET).

About Andrew Wilkinson 1023 Articles

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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