LVS – Las Vegas Sands Corp. – Shares of the casino resort operator rallied as much as 3.5% during the trading session to hit an intraday- and new 52-week high of $47.48 on news Macau casino revenue, bolstered by China’s Golden Week holiday, jumped 50% to a record in October. Analysts at Morgan Stanley raised their target price on LVS to $50.00 from $36.00, maintained an ‘overweight’ rating on the stock, upped their EPS estimate on the company for fiscal 2010 to $0.96 a share from $0.69 a share, and increased their EPS forecast for 2011 for LVS to $1.85 per share from $1.19 per share. Options traders are initiating bullish positions on the casino operator today and are currently trading more than 2.2 calls on the stock for each single put option changing hands. Near-term November contract calls and puts are the most popular with less than 30 minutes remaining before the final bell. Bulls sold more than 1,000 puts at the November $45 and $47 strikes to pocket an average premium of $1.23 and $2.10, respectively. Investors short the puts keep the premium received as long as shares exceed the strike prices described by November expiration. Meanwhile, call buyers scooped up 1,600 in-the-money contracts at the November $46 strike for an average premium of $2.63 each. Another 1,100 calls were purchased at the higher November $47 strike for an average premium of $2.14 a-pop. Investors hoping to see LVS shares increase significantly before the year ends purchased some 1,800 calls up at the December $50 strike for an average premium of $2.24 per contract. Traders holding these contracts profit if Las Vegas Sands’ shares surge 10.00% over today’s high of $47.48 to trade above the effective breakeven price of $52.24 by expiration day next month. Options implied volatility on LVS is up 5.7% to arrive at 50.30% as of 3:40 pm in New York trading.
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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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