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Sirius XM Radio Speculators See Calmer Waters Ahead

Delta-neutral trade in SIRI bets on reduced volatility

by 1/7/2013 2:50 PM
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A large-scale options player is expecting reduced volatility in Sirius XM Radio Inc (NASDAQ:SIRI - 3.07) now that no questions linger about Liberty Media Corp's (NASDAQ:LMCA) intentions. This view is being expressed through a large delta-neutral trade employing sold puts and short stock.

Overall put volume in SIRI is running seven times heavier than normal today, with about 38,000 contracts changing hands. By comparison, just 12,000 call options have crossed the tape. The lion's share of today's volume traded in one fell swoop, as a block of 25,000 of the January 2015 2-strike puts traded off the bid price of $0.22 per contract. According to Trade-Alert, these short puts were tied to a block of 375,000 SIRI shares, which were shorted at the same time to create a delta-neutral trade.

In essence, this pairing is a short volatility play that will have limited impact to any price action in SIRI shares. The speculator is instead hoping to profit if volatility compresses.

Late last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) gave LMCA the thumbs-up to pursue its takeover of the satellite radio firm. As this is no longer in limbo, implied volatility could begin to retreat. What's more, the stock has gained more than 65% since June on its move to multi-year highs. The recent resolution to the LMCA speculation could create a slowing of this upward momentum, which could -- in time -- impact realized volatility readings as well.


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