RIG – Transocean LTD – Two massive bullish transactions utilizing nearly 110,000 call options on the provider of offshore contract drilling services for oil and gas wells indicates at least one big options player is taking a long-term optimistic stance on the stock. RIG’s shares inched up 0.50% this afternoon to trade at $47.00 as of 3:15 pm ET. The nearer-term of the two spreads looks to be a variation on the traditional call butterfly spread because volume at the lower strike price [wing 1] is the same as that used in the body of the butterfly. Typically, a butterfly spread is constructed using a 1X2X1 ratio. The longer-term spread employed in the February 2011 contract looks like a normal butterfly. In this transaction the investor enjoys maximum profits if RIG’s shares surge 38.3% to settle at $65.00 by February expiration day. The transaction involved the purchase of 15,000 calls at the February 2011 $50 strike [wing 1] for an average premium of $5.5250, the sale of 30,000 calls at the February 2011 $65 strike for an average premium of $1.475 [body], and the purchased of 15,000 calls at the higher February 2011 $80 strike for an average premium of $0.425 apiece. The net cost of this transaction amounts to $3.00 per contract. Transocean’s shares must rally 12.8% by February expiration in order for the investor to breakeven on the spread at a share price of $53.00. The investor may accumulate maximum available profits of $12.00 per contract if Transocean’s shares surge 38.3% to $65.00 by expiration day. The spread initiated in the November contract is similar in its bullishness, although differs with respect to the lopsided nature of the wings, time to expiration, and strike price selection. In this trade the investor the purchased 19,500 in-the-money calls at the November $45 strike for an average premium of $6.175, and sold the same number of calls at the higher November $55 strike for an average premium of $2.22 each. The third leg of the trade is half the size, that’s 9,750 calls purchased at the November $65 strike for an average premium of $0.725 apiece. The investor or investors responsible for these transactions are well positioned to benefit handsomely from bullish movement in the price of the underlying shares in the months to come.
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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