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Chevron Is Right For This Option Strategy

Chevron Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in petroleum, chemicals, mining, power generation, and energy operations worldwide. It operates in two segments, Upstream and Downstream.  CVX has an equity score of 9.6 (VERY BULLISH) out of a 10.  This is a covered call position on Chevron Corp (CVX),

OPTION STRATEGY:

Look at the June 95 covered call. For each 100 shares of Chevron Corporation (CVX) stock you buy, sell one June 95 covered call option for an 96.70 (100.30 – 3.60) debit or better. That’s potentially a 3.4% assigned return.

STOCK TREND:

The technicals for CVX are bullish with a weak downward trend.  The stock is under distribution with support at 101.95.  S&P rates this stock 5 STARS (out of five) – strong buy.

RESEARCH NOTES:

S&P maintains strong buy recommendation on shares of Chevron Corp. (CVX) . CVX sees ’12 capex at $32.7B, up from $28B, before acquisition, expected in ’11.  Upstream is slated at $28B (87%), with major capex at LNG and deepwater projects.  We think it will comfortably fund this plan, and possibly boost dividends and buybacks via projected cash flow.  We see CVX thriving from a smaller refining footprint, where Asian exposure will help future results.  About 69% of production is higher-margin oil.  Shares have outperformed peers and benchmarks in ’11, but discounted valuations and solid near/long-term growth visibility remain highly attractive, in our view.

The Biggest Mistake New Call Writers Make

Covered call trading is not like directional trading which has an objective to time the movement of a stock in the direction it is moving.  Covered writing is a game of regular, incremental returns.  The covered call writer’s objective is to collect the option premium for income without taking any damage to the downside of owning the stock.  The secret to success for the call writer is to make smaller, more consistent returns compared to a advanced option trader who makes many bets waiting for a 50% – 100% winner.  The biggest mistake by new call writers is writing a stock solely to capture the fattest time value premiums.

To improve the chances of being successful, the call writer should focus on stock selection.  The covered call trader should focus on 3% monthly returns.  However, a 15% drawdown on a trade will require 5 months of 3% returns to recoup the loss and get back to even.  This is why the Monthly Income Plan focuses on 5 star stocks signaling high quality stocks.

Why avoid the fattest premiums for a measly 3% monthly return?  The short answer is that high premiums often signal high risk, and writing calls on these options without regard to stock quality will eventually decimate your trading account.  There are two reasons that value premium becomes high enough to offer big returns:

1)   The stock is volatile and implied volatility is in line with the stock, or

2)   Implied volatility (IV) is significantly higher than actual volatility.

Simply, the higher the rate of return, the higher either actual or implied volatility (or both) must be on the options.  If two stocks had volatility of 60% we would expect the option premiums to be roughly comparable.  What if one stock had an IV of 25%?  This indicates a market expectation of less volatility in the future but it also means the investor is not getting paid for the 60% volatility risk he is taking on.  If the other stock had IV of 80% then the investor must determine what is causing the IV to be higher than the 60% actual volatility.  This usually indicates that the market is expecting some new event on the stocks such as news, announcement, earning or more.

If the IV is in line with the stock volatility, then the options are priced fairly so the decision comes down to – do you want to invest in the stock.  The rule is to AVOID stocks with spiking IV and look for a different trade.  To be conservative, look to write calls on stocks with a volatility of 40% or less.  If you are experienced and seek more income, look for stocks with volatility between 40% and 60%.  Anything above 60% I would consider high risk so proceed with caution.  You should at least look at the volatility of the stock before you invest to know what the risk of the trade may be over the coming option period.

Covered Call Trade on Deere and Company (DE)

This is a covered write on Deere and Company (DE) for the December 2012 expiration.  Deere & Company provides products and services primarily for agriculture and forestry worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Agriculture and Turf, Construction and Forestry, and Credit.

OPTION STRATEGY:

Look at the December 72.5 covered call. For each 100 shares of Deere and Co (DE) stock you buy, sell one December 72.5 covered call option for a 70.14 (73.64 – 3.50) debit or better. That’s potentially a 3.36% assigned return in 19 days.   That is a 63.66% anualized gain (comparable purposes only) on this short trade.

TRADE TECHICALS:

The technicals for DE are bullish with a weak upward trend.  The stock is under accumulation with support at 74.06. S&P rates this stock 4 STARS (out of five) – buy.

RESEARCH NOTES:

S&P maintains buy opinion on shares of Deere (DE) .  Oct-Q EPS of$1.62, vs. $1.07, beats our est. by $0.23.  Revenue gain of 20% was in line with our est., on strong equipment demand, but costs were controlled better than we expected.  Most encouraging, in our view, is DE’s equipment outlook, with its guidance of 15% growth in FY 12 (Oct.) equipment sales, well in excess of our prior 10% est.  Our long-term view also stays positive, on growing needs for food and infrastructure.  We raise our FY 12 EPS estimate by$1.00 to $8.60, and initiate FY 13’s at $9.60.  We keep our target price at $99, in line with historical relative metrics.

Covered Call Write on Advanced Auto Parts

Covered Call trade on Advanced Auto Parts (AAP).

OPTIONS STRATEGY:

Look at the December 2011 70 covered call.  For each 100 shares of Advance Auto Parts (AAP) stock you buy, sell one December 2011 70 covered call option for a 67.06 (69.31 – 2.25) debit or better. That’s potentially a 4.38% assigned return.  This stock also pays a dividend which may add another 0.1% to the return. The stocks last ex-dividend date was 9/21/2011.

TECHNICALs:

The technicals for AAP are bullish with a possible trend reversal.   The stock is under distribution with support at 64.38. S&P rates this stock 5 STARS (out of five) – strong buy.

RISK:

For those wanting downside protection, buy the March 2012 65 put for 3.50.  Sell the put when you exit the covered call.  This is optional for the covered call to protect the downside of AAP at 65.

RESEARCH NOTES:
S&P reiterates strong buy recommendation on shares of Advance Auto Parts (AAP) .   For the 12-weeks ended October 8, EPS of $1.41, vs. $1.03, is $0.22 above our estimate.   While comp-store sales rose just 2.2%, this quarter lapped an exceptional 9.9% increase in the year-ago period, providing a challenging hurdle.   We continue to favor industry fundamentals, and expect global sourcing efforts and supply chain investments to drive improved gross margins over the medium term.  As a result, we are increasing our ’11 and ’12 EPS estimates to $4.96 and $5.71 from $4.72 and $5.47, and are also raising our DCF-based target price by $5 to $85.
EARNINGS HIGHLIGHTS:
  • On 11/09/11, the company announced quarterly earnings of 1.41 per share, a positive surprise of 19.4% above the consensus 1.18.  Over the past 4 quarters, the company has reported 3 positive (>2%), 1 negative(<-2%), and 0 in-line (within 2%) surprises.  The average surprise for this time period has been 5.0%.
  • AAP’s current quarter consensus estimate has remained relatively unchanged over the past 90 days at 0.68.  Estimates within its Subsector have moved an average of 0.0% during the same time period.
  • During the past four weeks, analysts covering AAP have made 1 upward and 0 downward EPS estimate revisions for the current quarter.

Covered Call Trade on Expeditors International of Washington, Inc. (EXPD)

Covered call trade on Expeditors International of Washington, Inc. (EXPD).
Expeditors International of Washington, Inc. (EXPD) , today announced that its Board of Directors has declared a semi-annual cash dividend of $.25 per share, payable on December 15, 2011 to shareholders of record as of December 1, 2011.
STRATEGY:  Look at the December 2011 42.5 covered call.  For each 100 shares of Expeditors International of Washington Inc (EXPD) stock you buy, sell one December 2011 42.5 call option for a 40.85 (43.65 – 2.80) debit or better. That’s potentially a 4.68% assigned return including the dividend.
TECHNICAL:  The technicals for EXPD are bullish with a weak upward trend.  The stock is under accumulation with support at 45.19.  S&P rates this stock 4 STARS (out of five) – buy.
RISK:   For those seeking downside protection with a blanket put, buy the May 2012 42.5 Put for 4.10.  Sell the put when you exit the covered call trade.
S&P RESEARCH:  S&P reiterates buy opinion on shares of Expeditors International (EXPD) . Q3 EPS is $0.50, vs. $0.44, $0.01 ahead of our estimate and Capital IQ consensus.  However,$0.03 of EPS came from higher non operating income.  Gross revenues were disappointing, but net revenue growth improved on better airfreight margins.  We think EXPD did a good job in a difficult operating environment, and believe it remains well positioned for an eventual improvement in shipping demand.  We cut our ’11 and ’12 EPS forecasts to $1.80 and $1.98from $1.89 and $2.28.  We cut our target price to $60 from $65, 30X our ’12 estimate, in the middle of EXPD’s historical range.

Covered Call Trade on AT&T (Video)

Brian Stutland lays out a covered call trade for income on AT&T (T)

Covered Call Trade on AT&T

 

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