Stocks quoted in this article:
GM Hughes Electronics (GMH – 30.65) is a telecommunications firm, of which automaker General Motors (GM – 64-15/16) owns around 35 percent. Yesterday evening, GMH announced that its DIRECTV satellite television business added 450,000 domestic customers in the third quarter. DIRECTV subscribers now total nine million. Additionally, GMH's Latin American division added 150,000 customers during the quarter.
In related news, GMH said that its earnings for the third-quarter will come in between $90 million and $110 million, matching analysts' estimates.
Despite this slew of positive news, brokerage heavyweight Morgan Stanley Dean Witter downgraded the security. Around 10:30 this morning, the Wall Street name cut its rating on the equity from a "strong buy" to an "outperform."
In early-afternoon trading, GMH has recorded a 5.5-percent loss. GMH options pits are notably active, with over 1,000 contracts trading on the October 30, October 35, November 30, and January 40 calls. Additionally, 5,525 contracts have changed hands on the March 45 put, while nearly 6,000 contracts have crossed the tape on the January 2002 43.47 put. During Wednesday's session, the January 2002 43.47 call was the second-most active call on the CBOE, with 10,405 contracts trading.