May 13, 2009 at 18:19 PM EDT
Host Hotels & Resorts Put Options Sold
Today’s tickers: HST, GSI, CST, MGM, UNH, AMD, XLI & XLY HST Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. – The stock has shed more than 9% to stand at $7.66 on the day. One investor has positioned himself to have shares put to him by expiration in June should shares continue to decline. The sale of 13,000 puts at the June 7.5 strike price for an average premium of 73 cents apiece allows this individual to accept the premium today while bearing the risk that shares continue to decline through $7.50 by expiration. If the puts land in-the-money, he will likely have the shares put to him at an effective price of $6.77. The stock last traded at $6.76 back on January 16, 2009 after declining from its 52-week high of $18.36 nearly one year ago to the day. The investor probably figures that if the puts remain out-of-the-money he retains the premium and is happy. If the puts land in-the-money he is also happy to have shares put to him at approximately one-third the value of the 52-week high for the stock. GSI General Steel Holdings, Inc. – Shares of the operator of a number of Chinese steel companies have taken a nosedive today, losing more than 14.5% to stand at $4.72. The stock has eroded despite the fact that the firm’s adjusted earnings per share of 9 cents for the period ended March 31, 2009, beat analyst expectations which estimated loss of about a nickel per share. In line with the bearish move in the stock, one investor loaded up on downside protection in the near-term May contract. The sale of 5,000 calls at the May 5.0 strike price for a premium of 10 cents apiece was spread against the purchase of 5,000 puts at the same strike for 40 cents each. The net cost of the transaction amounts to 30 cents and yields a breakeven point to the downside at $4.70. The stock must fall by at least 2 pennies before the trader begins to experience gains on the long put position. COST Costco Wholesale Corp. – The operator of membership warehouses that offer branded and private label goods ranging from gruyere cheese wedges to diamond rings has experienced a more than 2.5% decline to $45.49. We observed option traders bracing themselves for potential continued bearish movement in the stock. Investors loaded up on 4,400 puts at the June 42.5 strike price for 1.00…
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