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December 20, 2012  Thu 4:15 AM CT

RIG: SEE CHART GET CHAIN FIND STRATEGIES
Transocean is attracting upside option activity as the offshore driller tries to break out of a tight range.

More than 2,700 January 49 calls traded in a strong buying pattern yesterday, led by a print of 1,925 that went for $0.48, according to optionMONSTER's Heat Seeker tracking system. The volume was 6 times higher than the strike's open interest of 433 contracts at the beginning of the day, indicating that these are new purchases.

These long calls, which lock in the price where traders can buy the stock, is looking for Transocean to gain roughly 7 percent by expiration on Jan. 18. The oil and gas exploration company is scheduled to report results for the fourth quarter and all of 2012 on Feb. 24. (See our Education section)

RIG was down fractionally yesterday to close at $46.41. Shares have been trapped between $45 and $50 since July, and they are now sitting just above their 50-day moving average.

Total option volume in the name was more than double its daily average in the last month. Calls outnumbered puts by more than 2.5 to 1.

(A version of this post appeared on InsideOptions Pro yesterday.)
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