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February 6, 2013  Wed 12:22 PM CT

One investor is placing a cheap bet on Patterson-UTI Energy before the company announces quarterly results tomorrow morning.

optionMONSTER's Heat Seeker monitoring program detected the purchase of 2,000 February 24 calls for $0.05. There was no open interest at the strike before the trade appeared, indicating that this is a new bullish position in the contract-drilling company.

PTEN is up 0.73 percent to $20.73 in afternoon trading and has been trending higher since last June. The call buyer has the right to buy shares for $24 through the end of next week, no matter how high they may climb.

It will take a 15 percent move for those contracts to be in the money, but then the investor will double his or her investment for every $0.05 that the stock trades above $24.05. If PTEN doesn't move, their $0.05 will be lost. (See our Education section for more on the potential leverage provided by options.)  

The Heat Seeker shows total volume approaching 2,900 contracts--roughly triple the average amount. Calls outnumber puts by a bullish 7-to-1 ratio.
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