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Option traders are hoping recent changes at Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB - 27.67) will be well received, allowing the stock's upward momentum to continue. Today, one trader placed a sizable bullish bet calling for continued upside in shares of the Wall Street freshman through the next few months.
As the closing bell nears, total FB call volume today has doubled put volume (even while the total number of calls traded is about half what typically changes hands). One trade of interest was a potential bull call spread executed on the March 30 and March 35 calls. A block of 3,000 of the 30-strike calls traded at the ask price of $2.20 and a symmetrical block of the 35-strike calls went off at the bid price of $0.90. Given the positive surge in implied volatility, it is likely this spread traded on the opening side, for a net debit of $1.30 per spread.
If this is a new bull call spread, the specifics break down as follows:
- Breakeven at expiration on March 15: $31.30 (long strike plus the net debit)
- Maximum potential loss: $1.30 (100% of the premium paid), if FB is trading at or below $30 at expiration
- Maximum potential gain: $3.70 (difference in strikes less net debit), if FB is trading at or above $35 at expiration
- Return on risk: 285%
For this spread to reach its maximum profit potential, FB needs to climb more than 26% from current levels by the close on March 18. In fact, the shares are still sitting more than 13% south of the breakeven level. But FB is no stranger to sharp moves higher. The stock has rallied back nearly 58% from its all-time low of $17.55 reached on Sept. 4. What's more, FB is up more than 46% from its Nov. 12 short-term low of $18.87. Finally, the equity has outperformed the S&P 500 Index (SPX) -- on a relative-strength basis -- by 43 percentage points during the last two months.
FB has pulled slightly lower today, providing an entry point for these option bulls. The social media site has gone through some updates this week, including the introduction of the Facebook Gifts service and a change in privacy settings.