Last week I gave you an option play on Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) that ended up making a 63% gain. This week I am offering another pre-earnings announcement, this time on Tesla Motors (TSLA). If you want to try this strategy you will have to hurry because the announcement is due after the close on Wednesday, February 20.
Options Strategy for the Tesla Motors Earnings Announcement
In case you want to know the details of my thoughts on this company which makes electric cars, check out my Seeking Alpha article – How to Play the Tesla Motors Earnings Announcement.
In a nutshell, I think the likelihood of the stock going up after the announcement is very low. To my way of thinking, it is hopelessly overvalued and even the best of news shouldn’t push it much higher (it has already soared about 50% since August on no more than hope that their new Model S will be a big hit).
On the other hand, there are a large number of issues (including earnings) that might very well depress the stock. Here is what I would do:
With the stock trading around $37, buy TSLA June 39 calls and sell March 37 calls. This diagonal spread will cost about $1.05 ($105) to place (the natural price is $1.15 but a lower execution should be possible). There will be a $200 maintenance requirement per spread. If TSLA ends up at any price below $37 when the March options expire on the 15th, they will be worthless and I will end up owning June 39 calls which surely should be worth more than $1.05 (currently $3.00 – $3.40). I hope to exit the positions shortly after the announcement is made.
I also plan to buy half as many June-13 – March-13 33 put calendar spreads (cost about $1.90) to protect me against a possible 10% drop in the stock after the announcement. If you bought 10 of the above diagonals and 5 of these calendar spreads, your total outlay would be about $4000 (mostly the non-cash $2000 maintenance requirement on the 10 diagonal spreads).
One disadvantage with these spreads is that it might be necessary to wait as long as 3 ½ weeks to get the maximum possible return, but I expect an earlier exit will be possible at a slightly less than the maximum gain. I am aiming for a 25% gain on these spreads.
We will be placing these spreads in one of our Terry’s Tips portfolios on Tuesday or Wednesday.
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