Too Many Options – Heavy Ex-Dividend Volume

by Enis November 6, 2012 4:48 pm • Commentary

Lots of option volume today in stocks which have dividends tomorrow. Market makers tend to swap big numbers of two lines of deep-in-the-money calls with some open interest in the hopes that people will forget to exercise this afternoon and they will get away with not being assigned on a couple of them. This explains some of the volume in XOM, PFE, WFC, WAG. Check out the deep Jan calls with big volume on the lines.

  1. INFY – Inforsys Technologies, a Bangalore based business consulting and outsourcing company. It looks like 5000 of the Dec 45 calls and 10,000 of the puts traded. Stock trading near $44. There were some price variations so it is a bit hard to tell when they happened or if was part of the same trade. It looks like the calls at least were bought. Open interest on both lines is negligable. Next earnings is in January. Dec implied vol is on the low side at 27-28 on that line, and iv30 is up a little over one point today. Enis featured INFY in a Name That Trade post in October before earnings.
  2. DTG – Dollar Thrifty up $4 today and lots of options trading primarily in the upside November calls. Hertz again extended its tender offer which is now set to expire on Nov 16th and extended escrow arrangements for related financing. IV30 is up two points and is trading at 51.
  3. ESRX – Express Scripts which provides healthcare management and administration services is down $7 or 11% after bad 2013 guidance from earnings yesterday and a Jeffries downgrade. 100K+ options have traded versus an average under 8K. IV30 has come in 6 points from high 32.
  4. AOL – was up $5 or 15% on good reception of earnings. 30K+ options traded versus an average of just of 2K with calls to puts 2.6:1. No particularly big trades, just a lot of Nov calls as would be expected. IV30 was in almost 7 points to 40.
  5. BSFT – also had high option volume after earnings yesterday and weak revenues. Stock was down over 18%. IV30 has come in from well above 90 to 60. Over 10K options have traded versus an average of 1K, twice as many puts as calls. Biggest trade was 2000 Dec 30 puts which look like they were sold. Open interest small on the line.  (BroadSoft, Inc. (BroadSoft) is a global provider of software and services that enable mobile, fixed-line and cable service providers to deliver unified communications (UC) and other voice and multimedia services over their Internet protocol-based (IP-based) networks.)
  6. DECK – Trader bought 10k of the Jan13 40 / 50 call spread for 0.70 this morning, and then continued to buy throughout the day, buying 40k total by the close, for around 0.80 on average.
  7. EEM – Someone bought 26k of the Dec 43.5 calls for 0.57 midday.  The same line continued to trade, primarily buying, more than 45k total on the day
  8. XLE – Someone traded a large protection trade.  Bought 28k of the June 70 / 66 put spread and sold 28k of the June 80 calls, collected 0.31 on the structure.
  9. YHOO – Calls very active.  The Jan13 20 calls were most active, more than 25k, mostly trading at 0.15.  The Nov 16 and Dec 17 calls were the next most traded lines (possibly rolling long calls from Nov to Dec)
  10. VLO – Stock has had a strong week as gas shortages likely having an impact.  Options active, with a buyer of 4500 of the Jan14 30 calls for 4.40 midday, and a buyer of about 10k of the Nov 30 puts late in the day.