Today’s tickers: BRCM, BNI, EMC, RIO, GM, VIX, XLF, BAC & ARNA
BRCM Broadcom Corp. Class A – Shares are currently off by 3% to $20.01 for Broadcom, which is engaged in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications. Options activity was largely contained to the May contract. One investor established a put spread by purchasing 7,500 puts at the May 20 strike for 2.00 each, and selling 7,500 puts at the May 18 strike for a premium of 1.15 apiece. The net cost of the trade amounts to 85 cents and yields a maximum potential profit of 1.15 if shares fall to $18.00 by expiration. Further evidence of investor bearishness on BRCM came in the form of 5,000 sold calls at the May 20 strike price for a 2.00 premium per contract. Apparently investors agree that, at least in the near-term, the current $20.01 share price is due for a decline. Option implied volatility has jumped from Friday’s reading of 64% to the current value of 70%.
BNI Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation – When you need your share price to rise in the face of a 4.3% equity market decline you could do one of two things. First, have Goldman Sachs upgrade the company or second, find someone to suggest out loud that your shares might be bought by legendary investor, Warren Buffett. Sadly, neither seems to have worked for the operator of one of the largest railroad networks in North America, which has seen its shares dip slightly by 2% to stand at $60.71. BNI was upgraded to ‘buy’ from ‘neutral’ at Goldman Sachs amid rumors about a possible purchase of the company by Berkshire Hathaway. Option traders reflected the bullish upgrade by purchasing calls in the April contract. At the April 65 strike price 3,300 calls were scooped up for an average price of 1.50, while at the higher April 70 strike more than 3,200 calls were bought for a 55 cent premium. In order for the April 70 calls to turn profits for optimistic traders, shares would need to rally by 16% to the breakeven share price of $70.55 by expiration.
EMC EMC Corporation – The IT support company has experienced a share price decline of about 3.5% to $11.17. EMC edged onto our ‘most active by options volume’ market scanner after some large volume trades were initiated in the April and May contracts. It appears that one investor purchased a…