Cautiously Optimistic Player Enacts Delta Neutral Hedge Ahead of Oracle Earnings

Today’s tickers: ORCL, DV, JNY, HOG, FDO & UA ORCL - Oracle Corp. – Shares of the software company rallied as much as 1.45% this afternoon to touch an intraday high of $25.75, which is just $0.88 below the stock’s current 52-week high of $26.63. Options activity on Oracle is quite active ahead of the firm’s first-quarter earnings report scheduled for release after the closing bell tomorrow evening. One options investor hoping to see Oracle’s shares extend gains through the start of 2011 initiated a delta neutral hedge in the January 2011 contract. It looks like the trader purchased a total of 12,500 puts at the January 2011 $21 strike for a premium of $0.45 apiece, tied to the purchase of a large number of ORCL shares for $25.65 each, on a 0.15 delta. The long position in shares suggests perhaps that the investor expects tomorrow’s earnings report to lift shares and/or foresees continued bullish movement in the price of the underlying stock over the next 5 months. But, the put options serve as a type of insurance policy for the trader in case Oracle’s shares falter going forward. Options investors exchanged more than 77,800 contracts on the software maker by 3:10 pm ET. DV - DeVry, Inc. – The for-profit operator of colleges and universities popped up on our ‘hot by options volume’ marker scanner after one investor initiated a call spread in the November contract. DeVry’s shares fell as much as 2.9% in the first half of the trading session to touch down at an intraday low of $41.25, but made a strong recovery in early afternoon trading, and currently stand 1.25% higher on the day at $43.01 as of 12:52 pm ET. The investor populating the November contract wisely established a contrarian debit call spread on the stock when shares were still in the red. The options strategist purchased 2,000 calls at the November $45 strike at a premium of $2.00 each, and sold the same number of calls at the higher November $50 strike for premium of $0.65 apiece. Net premium paid to purchase the spread amounts to $1.35 per contract. The investor is positioned to make money if DeVry’s shares rally another 7.8% over the current price of $43.01 to surpass the effective breakeven point at $46.35 by expiration day in November. Maximum potential profits of $3.65 per contract are available to the call-spreader if shares surge 16.25% and…
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