Investors in Merck & Co Inc (Symbol: MRK) saw new options become available today, for the May 31st expiration. At Stock Options Channel, our YieldBoost formula has looked up and down the MRK options chain for the new May 31st contracts and identified the following put contract of particular interest.
The put contract at the $70.00 strike price has a current bid of 20 cents. If an investor was to sell-to-open that put contract, they are committing to purchase the stock at $70.00, but will also collect the premium, putting the cost basis of the shares at $69.80 (before broker commissions). To an investor already interested in purchasing shares of MRK, that could represent an attractive alternative to paying $78.94/share today.
Because the $70.00 strike represents an approximate 11% discount to the current trading price of the stock (in other words it is out-of-the-money by that percentage), there is also the possibility that the put contract would expire worthless. The current analytical data (including greeks and implied greeks) suggest the current odds of that happening are 97%. Stock Options Channel will track those odds over time to see how they change, publishing a chart of those numbers on our website under the contract detail page for this contract. Should the contract expire worthless, the premium would represent a 0.29% return on the cash commitment, or 2.27% annualized — at Stock Options Channel we call this the YieldBoost.
Below is a chart showing the trailing twelve month trading history for Merck & Co Inc, and highlighting in green where the $70.00 strike is located relative to that history:
The implied volatility in the put contract example above is 29%.
Meanwhile, we calculate the actual trailing twelve month volatility (considering the last 251 trading day closing values as well as today's price of $78.94) to be 17%. For more put and call options contract ideas worth looking at, visit StockOptionsChannel.com.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.