Market News

February 19, 2013  Tue 3:16 AM CT

Traders are betting on a floor beneath shares of Lamar Advertising, which reports quarterly results next week.

optionMONSTER's tracking systems detected the sale of 3,000 March 40 puts for $0.40 on Friday. The volume was 8 times higher than the strike's open interest of just 372 contracts before the session began, clearly indicating new activity.

These put sellers betting that the stock stays above $40 through expiration in mid-March. If LAMR falls below that level, the traders will face the obligation to buy shares at an effective price of $39.60 once the credit from the put sale is included. (See our Education section)

LAMR gained 1.19 percent to close at $45.21 on Friday after reaching $45.50 earlier in the session, its highest intraday price since January 2008. The outdoor-advertising company bounced after hitting a 52-week low of $23.37 in early June and has never looked back.

Friday's put selling made up almost all of Lamar's total option volume of 5,802 contracts. That was more than 9 times its daily average of just 621 contracts in the last month.

The company is scheduled to report fourth-quarter and 2012 results on Feb. 27 before the market opens.
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