Stock Options Watch: VOYA, GRPN, SIGM

(NYSE:VOYA) – ING US, Inc. – Shares in ING Group’s U.S. retirement, investment and insurance business are up as much as 8.0% today to $26.98, the highest level since the company’s May 2nd IPO. ING US was rated new ‘buy’ at BTIG LLC with a 12-month target share price of $31.00 today. The stock has rallied nearly 40% over the IPO price of $19.50, and some options traders are positioning for the price of the underlying to extend gains during the second half of the year. November expiry options are the most active contracts by volume on VOYA today, with notable fresh interest in the Nov $25 and $30 calls. Traders appear to have purchased around 200 lots at each striking price for average premiums of $2.71 and $1.14 each, respectively. Call buyers stand ready to profit at November expiration should shares in ING US rally another 2.7% and 15% to surpass average breakeven prices of $27.71 and $31.14, respectively. Meanwhile, traders snapping up Nov $20 and $25 strike puts are positioned to make money in the event of a pullback in the price of the underlying through November expiration. The company is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings ahead of the open on Thursday. Overall options volume on VOYA is sizable, with more than 1,500 contracts in play as of 12:15 p.m. ET versus overall open interest on the stock of 190 contracts.

(NASDAQ:GRPN) – Groupon, Inc. – A large trade in Groupon options in the early going on Monday looks for the price of the underlying to remain in the single-digits through January of 2014. Shares in GRPN are down 0.45% on the day at $6.94 as of 12:20 p.m. ET. The stock has increased roughly 30% since the company reported better-than-expected first-quarter revenue and a narrower-than-expected first-quarter loss on May 8th. It looks like one strategist betting shares in Groupon will trade below $10.00 through the start of 2014 sold around 50,000 calls at the Jan 2014 $10 strike for a premium of $0.55 each. The call seller keeps the full amount of premium received on the transaction as long as shares settle below $10.00 at expiration in January. Groupon’s shares last traded above $10.00 back in July of 2012.

(NASDAQ:SIGM) – Sigma Designs, Inc. – Shares in the provider of home entertainment semiconductor solutions have fallen roughly 20% in the past six months, but front month options activity on Sigma Designs this morning looks for the price of the underlying to rebound in the near term. SIGM shares are up roughly 2.0% today at $4.72 as of 12:30 p.m. ET. At least one options trader is positioning for Sigma’s shares to continue higher, with around 1,400 of the Jun $5.0 strike calls purchased this morning for an average premium of $0.15 per contract. The bullish bet pays off at expiration next month as long as shares in SIGM rally another 9.0% to top the breakeven price of $5.15. The company reports first-quarter earnings on June 5th.

About Caitlin Duffy 373 Articles

Affiliation: Interactive Brokers

Caitlin Duffy joined Interactive Brokers in 2009. In her role as Equity Options Analyst, Caitlin provides daily market commentary; highlighting various options trades, trading patterns and strategies of interest. Through Interactive Broker's webinar program, Ms. Duffy presents a number of educational, options-related events describing the theoretical pricing of options, the option Greeks as well as options strategies.

Interactive Brokers: Interactive Brokers offers direct market access to around 80 electronic global markets from a single account. Successful traders and investors understand that superior technology and lower trading costs can result in greater returns. For 32 years we have been building direct access trading technology that delivers real advantages to professionals worldwide. With consolidated equity capital of US $4.4 billion, IB and its affiliates exceed 1,000,000 trades per day. In addition, our prudent and conservative risk policies make Interactive Brokers a safe haven for your money. Discover some of the reasons why IB, the largest independent US broker/dealer, is the professional traders' and investors' choice.

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