CTXS – Citrix Systems, Inc. – Shares of the software company fell as much as 11.2% this morning to touch an intraday low of $62.16 following cautious words from the firm’s CEO regarding its new product launch. Citrix Systems’ shares are currently down 9.10% at $63.62 just before 12:00 pm ET. Initially, options investors reacted by initiating bearish transactions, but it looks like contrarian players swooped in to purchase bull call spreads in order to position for shares to reverse course ahead of December expiration. Bullishness on the stock may have followed Pacific Crest’s comment that Citrix’s third-quarter is likely to be ok. The company reports its results for the third-quarter after the market closes on October 21, 2010. Bears were quick to purchase put options and sell out-of-the-money calls in the October contract. Investors picked up 1,000 puts at the October $60 strike for a premium of $0.90 each. Put buyers at this strike make money if CTXS shares fall 7.1% from the current price of $63.63 to breach the effective breakeven point to the downside at $59.10 by expiration day. Traders also purchased 1,500 puts at the October $62.5 strike at an average premium of $1.39 a-pop, which yields an average breakeven price of $61.11. Pessimists sold some 1,100 calls at the October $67.5 strike for a premium of $0.76 each, and shed 4,700 calls at the higher October $70 strike to receive an average premium of $0.49 apiece. Call sellers keep the premium received on the sale as long as shares of the underlying stock fail to rally above the strike prices described through October expiration. Investors expecting Citrix Systems’ shares to recover by December expiration purchased call spreads, buying 5,000 calls at the December $65 strike for an average premium of $4.70 each, and selling the same number of calls at the December $70 strike at an average premium of $2.59 apiece. Average net premium paid to initiate the spread amounts to $2.11 per contract. Thus, the medium-term bullish players are poised to profit should shares surge 5.5% over the current price to surpass the effective breakeven point at $67.11 by December expiration day. Maximum potential profits of $2.89 per contract are available to traders if shares jump 10.0% to trade above $70.00 by expiration. The CEO’s cautious tone, the drop in the price of CTXS shares and the increase in demand for options lifted the stock’s overall reading of options implied volatility 15.0% to 51.34% by 12:15 pm ET.
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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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