The 6-Figure Options Bet on Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Stock

One Potash Corporation options trader initiated a huge bet at the May 17 call

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Apr 21, 2017 at 1:46 PM

Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (USA) (NYSE:POT) is deep in the red today. At last check, the fertilizer stock was down 1.8% to trade at $16.13. However, that hasn't stopped options traders from placing bullish bets on the shares.

Diving right in, POT options are crossing at six times the usual intraday rate. The accelerated action is largely taking place on the call side of the fence, where 12,000 contract have been exchanged -- compared to the typical intraday amount of roughly 1,500. In fact, call volume is on track to finish in the 93rd percentile of its annual range.

According to Trade-Alert, a block of 10,238 May 17 calls has been bought to open, as part of a potential delta hedging strategy -- as the lot was tied to 320,000 shares. The $266,000 bet ($0.26 premium paid * number of contracts * 100 shares per contract) comes ahead of POT earnings, scheduled for next Wednesday morning.

Taking a step back, calls have long been the options of choice on Potash Corporation. Over the last 20 days at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), traders have bought to open nearly four calls for each put.

While the May 17 call is the most active strike today, the May 17 put saw the biggest increase in open interest during the past two weeks. Trade-Alert data suggests some of these positions were newly purchased over that time frame, and those bears should be cheering POT stock's intraday struggles.

Longer term, shares of Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (USA) (NYSE:POT) have been trending lower. In late January, the stock hit an annual high of $20.27. Since then, however, POT stock has been fading, giving back about one-fifth of its value.

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