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Is put trade changing channels on Viacom?

Viacom is trading near an all-time high, but one trader apparently thinks that it's run out of gas.

optionMONSTER's tracking systems detected the sale of 10,000 December 55 calls for $1.30. An equal number of December 45 puts traded at the same time for $1.80, but it's not clear whether they were bought or sold. Both occurred in the company's B-shares, which typically trade fewer than 1,000 contracts in a session.

Either way, it's not good for VIA.B. If the puts were bought, the trade was a bearish combination strategy with a cost of $0.50 and the potential to profit from the media company pushing toward or below $45.

If the puts were sold, then the strategy was a short collar. That would have generated a credit of $3.10, which the investor would keep if the shares remain between $45 and $55 through the end of the year. (See our Education section for more on strategies that profit from the passage of time rather than directional moves.)

VIA.B is up 0.18 percent to $50.16 in afternoon trading and is up 49 percent in the last year. The company, parent of MTV and Nickelodeon, has benefited from a strong trend in advertising and beat expectations the last time it reported earnings on April 28.

The shares gapped higher on that news but have struggled since then. Based on today's option trade, it appears that one big investor thinks that they will now remain stalled or push lower.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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