Today’s tickers: AIG, ABC, RGS, & CSCO
AIG – Investor uncertainty over the fate of the insurance company surged this morning following extremely bearish reports from analysts at Citigroup. One analyst at Citi reported “a seventy percent chance that the equity at AIG is zero”, sending shares of the insurer lower by more than 21% to $10.31. Option traders looking to reel in profits on the rapid erosion in price today were seen gobbling up bearish put options in the near-term July contract. Investors expecting continued declines targeted the nearly at-the-money July 10 strike price and bought more than 4,800 puts for an average premium of 1.05 each. These traders will begin to accrue gains if the market price of the stock falls below the breakeven point at $8.95 by expiration. More pessimistic individuals purchased puts some 2,100 times at the July 7.5 strike for 39 cents each. Perhaps these traders see shares slipping to the current 52-week low on the stock of 6.60 attained back on March 6, 2009. Finally, traders expecting shares of the behemoth to halve by expiration, purchased 1,000 put options at the July 5.0 strike for an average premium of 13 cents per contract. Investors long the 5.0 strike puts breakeven beneath a share price of $4.87. Option implied volatility soared this morning from yesterday’s closing reading of 167% up to more than 200% at times today. – American International Group, Inc.
ABC – The drug distribution company appeared on our ‘hot by options volume’ market scanner today after one investor initiated a bullish reversal in the August contract. Shares of ABC are off slightly less than 1% to stand at $17.78. Hoping for upward movement in the price of the underlying by expiration next month, the optimistic investor looked to the August 15 strike price to sell 5,000 puts for 15 cents apiece which he spread against the purchase of 5,000 calls at the higher August 20 strike for 20 cents each. The transaction cost the trader a nickel per contract. ABC shares must rally 13% from the current price in order for the investor to begin to amass profits at the breakeven point of $20.05. We note that the market price of ABC has not breached $20.00 since September 15, 2008. – AmeriSource Bergen Corporation