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October 11, 2013  Fri 3:16 AM CT

An enormous put spread topped yesterday's option activity in natural-gas company Energy XXI.

optionMONSTER systems show that 20,000 each of the March 28 and 22 puts changed hands, with the 28s bought for $2.55, and the 22s sold for $0.85. The volume was multiples of the previous open interest at each strike, so this is clearly new positioning.

The vertical spread cost the trader $1.70, which is the maximum amount at risk. The maximum gain would be $4.30 if shares are below $22 at expiration in mid-March, though the trader would then be on the hook to buy shares at that level. (See our Education section)

The EXXI was up 1.76 percent to $30.56. The Bermuda-based company was above $32 on Friday, its highest price since March. Shares were down at support at $22 in late June.
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