Western Union tried to bounce yesterday, but the bears had other
optionMONSTER's Depth Charge tracking program detected the purchase
of more than 18,000 February 13 puts for $0.15 and $0.20. Volume
was more than quadruple previous open interest at the strike,
indicating that new positions were initiated.
Those contracts lock the right to sell shares in the money-transfer
company for $13 in the next three weeks, no matter how far they may
fall. That can result in significant leverage if the shares drop,
but the puts can expire worthless if the stock fails to decline.
WU rose 3.62 percent to $14.02 yesterday but has lost more than
one-fifth of its value in the last three months. Most of that drop
occurred on Oct. 31 after revenue missed expectations and
management cut guidance because of increased competition.
The stock has been attempting to rebound since then. However, based
on yesterday's option trade, at least one big investor expects more
bad news when the next earnings report is released after the
closing bell on Feb. 12.
Some 31,500 Western Union contracts traded in the session, almost
17 times the normal amount. Puts accounted for almost 90 percent of
the total, according to the Depth Charge.
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