IB Options Brief: Medivation, Inc. (MDVN) & Mosaic Co. (MOS)
MDVN ñ Medivation, Inc.
The San Francisco, California-based biopharmaceutical company popped up on our market scanners this morning after a sizable position was initiated in February contract call and put options. Shares in Medivation are off slightly today, down 0.50% at $51.97 as of 12:10 p.m. ET, adding to declines realized earlier in the trading week. The stock has dipped 8.0% since Tuesday on news Medivation and Pfizer ended their collaboration on an experimental Alzheimerís drug.
It looks like one strategist sold 3,875 far out-of-the-money calls at the Feb. $65 strike in order to buy the same number of puts at the Feb. $40 strike, all for a net premium of $0.15 per contract. The trader may be taking an outright bearish stance on the stock or could be using the options play to hedge a position in the underlying shares. The sale of the call options greatly reduces premium required to get long the puts and suggests the investor sees greater potential for shares to pullback rather than rally to fresh all-time highs in the next five weeks to expiration.
Profits or downside protection kick in if shares in Medivation plunge 23.3% to breach the effective breakeven price of $39.85 by expiration day. MDVNís shares traded no higher than $25.50 during most of 2011, until early November when the stock more than doubled on promising Phase-III trial results for its prostate cancer drug.
MOS ñ Mosaic Co.
Bullish movement in shares of Mosaic Company may continue next week, according to buyers of weekly call options on the producer of concentrated phosphate and potash crop nutrients. Mosaicís shares rallied more than 2.4% to $55.15 in the first half of the session on positive comments regarding the industry from analysts at Bank of America, who reinstated a ëneutralí rating on MOS and some of its competitors.
Near-term bullish positioning in weekly calls is heaviest at the Jan. í27 $57.5 strike where more than 1,200 options changed hands against open interest of 30 contracts. The majority of the calls appear to have been purchased for an average premium of $0.29 apiece, thus preparing buyers to profit at expiration next week should the price of the underlying stock rally 4.8% to surpass the average breakeven price of $57.79. The Plymouth, Minnesota-based Companyís shares have gained nearly 7.0% so far in 2012.
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