Breaking Down the $36M Hedge Fund Trade on T-Mobile US Inc (TMUS)

How one hedge fund netted a major profit on a bullish T-Mobile US Inc (TMUS) options trade

Celeste Taylor
Jan 13, 2017 at 3:55 PM
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T-Mobile US Inc (NASDAQ:TMUS) has been steadily climbing higher since bottoming out in early February. The shares are up an impressive 71% over this time frame, and are currently trading at $56.88. And today, one hedge fund cashed in on a bullish options trade that reaped major rewards from the gains in TMUS.

According to data from Trade-Alert, one hedge fund initiated a long call spread on TMUS last May, by purchasing 90,000 January 2017 50-strike calls and selling to open 90,000 January 2017 55-strike calls for a net debit of $0.62. With January options expiration just one week away -- and TMUS now trading comfortably above the sold call strike -- the hedge fund exited its bullish spread play today for $4.71.

Less the initial net debit of $0.62, that's a profit of $4.09 -- and with 90,000 spreads accounting for 100 contracts each, the total takeaway on the trade was north of $36 million. That's a 660% gain on the play (and that's what we mean when we talk about leverage).

In opting for a long call spread, the trader lowered the initial net debit on the TMUS trade -- as well as the breakeven point -- by offsetting the entry fee with the premium received from the sold contracts. In this way, the trader also lowered their maximum risk. Long call spreads are ideal plays for traders who are bullish towards an equity, but are comfortable limiting their profit potential on an upside move in exchange for the decreased cost of entry and lowered capital commitment (relative to a "vanilla" call buying strategy).

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