)– Options traders employed two different bullish trading tactics on the supplier of oil equipment and services today. One strategist purchased a debit call spread, while another trader engaged in plain-vanilla call buying in the January 2011 contract. Baker Hughes' shares rallied as much as 2.2% during the first half of the session to touch an intraday high of $38.41. The stock took a severe beating during the month of August, falling roughly 27.20% from $50.50 on August 2, 2010, down to today's intraday low of $36.76. But, it looks like options investors populating BHI today are expecting shares to continue to rebound in the second half of the year. One long-term bull purchased 2,500 calls outright at the January 2011 $48 strike for an average premium of $1.09 apiece. The call buyer is poised to profit should BHI shares surge 27.8% to trade above the average breakeven price of $49.09 by expiration. Another optimistic strategist reduced the cost of taking a bullish stance on the stock by buying a call spread. The trader picked up 5,000 calls at the January 2011 $48 strike at an average premium of $1.12 each, and sold the same number of calls at the January 2011 $50 strike for premium of $0.78 apiece. The net cost of the trade amounts to $0.34 per contract. Shares of the underlying stock must rally 25.85% to reach the effective breakeven point on the spread at $48.34. The spread trader stands ready to accumulate maximum potential profits of $1.66 per contract if shares jump 30.15% to settle above $50.00 by expiration next year. While implementing the spread reduces the investor's net cost today, it also limits profits to the upside if the stock winds up blowing straight past the $50.00 level. The plain-vanilla call buyer's profits are not capped in this way, but he does face a higher price at which the trade breaks even.
ON Semiconductor Corp. (ONNN)– Shares of the global supplier of semiconductor components jumped more than 4.8% this afternoon to an intraday high of $6.52. Investors expecting the stock's performance to improve over the next year and a half initiated bullish risk reversals in the January 2012 contract this morning. A total of 5,000 puts were sold at the January 2012 $5.0 strike at an average premium of $0.72 apiece, and spread against the purchase of the same number of calls at the higher January 2012 $7.5 strike at an average premium of $1.02 each. The average net cost incurred by risk reversal players amounts to $0.30 per contract. Thus, investors stand ready to make money if ONNN's shares gain another 19.6% to exceed the average breakeven price of $7.80 by expiration day in 2012.
Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ)– Bullish trading in HPQ LEAPs this morning indicates some options strategists are painting a rosy picture of where the tech giant's shares will be trading by expiration in January 2012. HPQ's shares are currently down more than 1.05% at $37.81 as of 11:30 am ET. The company did its part to continue the bidding war over 3Par, Inc., increasing its offer to $30.00 a share for the data-storage provider, topping Dell's most recent bid of $27.00 a share. Options traders enacted three-legged bullish spreads, buying approximately 5,000 calls at the January 2012 $40 strike for an average premium of $5.42 each, selling about the same number of calls at the higher January 2012 $50 strike for premium of $2.15 apiece, and finally shedding some 5,000 puts at the January 2012 $30 strike at an average premium of $2.68 a-pop. The average net cost of putting on the transaction is reduced to just $0.59 per contract. Investors employing the bullish strategy are well positioned to make money if Hewlett-Packard's shares head higher by expiration day. Profits start to accumulate if HPQ's shares rally 7.35% over the current price of $37.81 to surpass the average breakeven point to the upside at $40.59. Maximum potential profits of $9.41 per contract are available to traders should shares of the world's largest PC maker jump 32.2% to trade above $50.00 by expiration day in January of 2012. HPQ's shares last exceeded $50.00 back on May 10, 2010.