What's behind put activity in Ctrip.com
Chris McKhann | firstname.lastname@example.org
CTRP is up $0.03 to $19.94 after trading down to $19.44 during the previous session. Shares of the Chinese travel-service provider were above $22 two weeks ago and $28 two months ago.
Almost 5,000 CTRP options have traded so far this morning, compared to an average of 2,500. Almost all of the action is in one put spread.
A trader sold, 2,440 May 23 puts for $3.24 against open interest of 10,447 while buying 2,440 May 21 puts for $1.69, according to optionMONSTER's Depth Charge system. Volume at the latter strike was twice the open interest and therefore a new position.
This could be a put credit spread, which would look for the stock to be above $23 by expiration. But it is far more likely that the trader is rolling the position down from the May 23 contracs to the 21s, taking profits but still holding in-the-money puts to take advantage of more downside. (See our Education section)