ALXN – Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – The implementation of a three-legged bearish options combination play on the maker of therapeutic products this morning suggests one strategist may be bracing for the price of the underlying stock to fall by January 2011 expiration. ALXN shares are currently down 0.35% to arrive at $68.17 as of 11:35 a.m. in New York. The investor sold 2,000 calls at the January 2011 $75 strike at a premium of $2.40 each, purchased the same number of puts at the lower January 2011 $60 strike for a premium of $2.50 per contract, and sold 2,000 puts at the January 2011 $50 strike at a premium of $1.00 apiece. The trader receives a net credit of $0.90 per contract on the transaction, and keeps that amount as long as shares trade below $75.00 through expiration day. Additional profits start to accumulate if Alexion’s shares decline 12.00% from the current price of $68.17 to breach the $60.00-level by expiration day. Maximum potential profits, including the net credit received, of $10.90 per contract are available to the investor should the pharmaceutical firm’s shares plummet 26.65% and trade below $50.00 by January expiration. The short call position exposes the investor to potentially devastating losses in the event that ALXN shares fly upward to exceed the effective upper breakeven price of $75.90 by expiration day next year. Alexion Pharmaceuticals is slated to report third-quarter results ahead of the opening bell on October 21, 2010.
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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