Today, positions were established in Delta Air Lines Inc.(ticker symbol DAL) and General Motors Corp.(ticker GM). For Delta, three March 2016 100% cash-secured Put options were sold (in lieu of a comparable covered calls position) since the implied volatility of the Puts exceeded that of the Calls (thus providing a higher potential return-on-investment result). General Motors is a covered calls position with a Mar2016 expiration at the $29.00 strike price that explicitly considers the potential for capturing the upcoming quarterly ex-dividend of $.38 on March 9th. As shown in the right sidebar under the list of Covered Calls Advisor Portfolio positions, this is the second GM covered calls position established. Given the Covered Calls Advisor's current Slightly Bearish overall market outlook, conservative investments were made for both positions (with the strike prices below the stock prices when the positions were established).
As detailed below, the potential returns are:
1. Delta Air Lines Inc.: +0.9% absolute
return in 17 days (equivalent to a +19.8% annualized
2. General Motors Inc.: +1.8% absolute
return in 17 days (equivalent to a +37.9% annualized
Note: the Implied Volatility (IV) of
the options at the time they were sold was 37 for Delta and 24 for GM, so each option exceeded the Covered Calls Advisor's minimum threshold of IV>20 and thus provides a sufficiently attractive potential return-on-investment relative to the conservative risk profile of each position.
1. Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) -- New 100% Cash-Secured Puts Position
The transaction was as follows:
03/02/2016 Sold 3 DAL Mar2016 $45.00 100% cash-secured Put options @ $.45
Note: the price of DAL was $47.83 today when this transaction was executed.
The Covered Calls Advisor does not use margin, so the detailed
information on this position and a potential result shown below
reflect the fact that this position was established using 100% cash
securitization for the Put options sold.
A possible overall performance result (including commissions) would be as follows:
100% Cash-Secured Cost Basis: $13,500.00
Note: the price of DAL was $47.83 when these options were sold
(a) Options Income: +$124.80
= ($.45*300 shares) - $10.20 commissions
(b) Dividend Income: +$0.00
(c) Capital Appreciation (If DAL is above $45.00 strike price at Mar2016 expiration): +$0.00
= ($45.00-$45.00)*300 shares
Total Net Profit (If DAL is above $45.00 strike price at Mar2016 options expiration): +$124.80
= (+$124.80 options income +$0.00 dividend income +$0.00 capital appreciation)
Absolute Return (If DAL is above $45.00 strike price at Mar2016 options expiration): +0.9%
Annualized Return: +19.8%
= (+$124.80/$13,500.00)*(365/17 days)
downside 'breakeven price' at expiration is at $44.55 ($45.00 - $.45),
which is 6.9% below the current market price of $47.83.
Using the Black-Scholes Options Pricing Model in the Schwab
Hypothetical Options Pricing Calculator, the probability of
making a profit (if held until the Mar 18th, 2016 options expiration) for
this DAL short Puts position is 79%. This compares with a
profit of 50.3% for a buy-and-hold of DAL shares over the same
Using this probability of profit of 79%, the expected value annualized return-on-investment (if held until expiration) is +15.6% (+19.8% *
79%), an attractive risk/reward profile for this conservative investment.
'crossover price' at expiration is $48.28 ($47.83 + $.45). This is the
price above which it would have been more profitable to simply
buy-and-hold DAL until the Mar2016 options expiration date
rather than selling these Put options.
2. General Motors Corporation (GM) -- New Covered Calls Position
An ex-dividend occurs on March 9th of $.38. Although somewhat unlikely, if the
current time value (i.e. extrinsic value) of $.21 [$1.17 option premium -
($29.96 stock price - $29.00 strike price)] remaining in the short call
options decay further by March 8th (the business day prior to the ex-dividend date), there is
a possibility that the Call options owner would exercise early and
therefore call the 300 GM shares away to capture the dividend payment.
As shown below, two potential return-on-investment results for this position are:
If Dividend Capture: +1.8%
absolute return (equivalent to +37.9% annualized return over the next 17
days) if the stock is assigned at the Mar2016 expiration on March
The transactions were:
03/02/2016 Bought 300 GM shares @ $29.96
03/02/2016 Sold 3 GM Mar2016 $29.00 Call options @ $1.17
Note: a simultaneous buy/write transaction was executed.
03/09/2016 Upcoming ex-dividend of $.38 per share
Two possible overall performance results (including commissions) for this GM covered calls position are as follows:
Stock Purchase Cost: $8,995.95
= ($29.96*300+$7.95 commission)
(a) Options Income: +$340.80
= ($1.17*300 shares) - $10.20 commissions
(b) Dividend Income (If option exercised early on business day prior to Mar 9th ex-div date): +$0.00; or
(b) Dividend Income (If GM assigned at Mar2016 expiration): +$114.00
= ($.38 dividend per share x 300 shares)
this instance, early assignment provides a lower annualized return,
so capturing the dividend and being assigned at Mar2016 expiration is preferable; but either
outcome would provide an attractive return-on-investment result for this
investment. These returns will be achieved as long as the stock is
above the $29.00 strike price at assignment. If the stock declines
below the strike price, the breakeven price of $28.79 ($29.96 -$1.17)
provides 3.9% downside protection below today's purchase
The Covered Calls Advisor has established a set of eleven criteria to evaluate potential covered calls using a dividend capture strategy. The minimum threshold to establish a position is that at least nine of these eleven criteria must be achieved, which for this GM position was the case (as shown in the table below).