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Interested in a potential 50% Return on Teck Resources?

Patrick Ceresna
August 1, 2015
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4 minutes read
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Before we get into the juicy numbers of the options trade, it is important to put some perspective on Teck Resources and where it is at. Teck Resources is one of Canada’s premier basic material stocks. The company has global operations in copper, coal, zinc, lead, molybdenum, gold, silver and various chemicals/fertilizers. The recent drop, (more like crash) in commodity prices has challenged its growth and earnings, driving the stock to lose close to 50% of its market value over the last 3 months.

Ouch to say the least. Here are the current facts:

  • Though there has been a contraction of earnings, the company is currently still profitable
  • The company pays a nice dividend, but with a 152% payout ratio (source: yahoo finance), implies that the dividend is at risk of being reduced or cut all together
  • From its $20.58 February high, TCK.B has materially dropped, hitting a $8.77 low in July

With the full understanding that the stock is now pricing in an array of risks, an investor willing to undertake those risks has an interesting income opportunity using a long-term covered call.

Covered Call Strategy:

The Covered Call Strategy involves buying (or owning) the shares of a stock and selling (to open) a call option against the stock. A short call generates an income (equivalent to the option’s premium received) with the obligation that the investor must potentially sell the stock at the strike price throughout the life of the option, if he or she is assigned.

Here is an example of the strategy, with an investor buying 1000 shares:

  • Buy 1000 shares of TCK.B ($9.35 on July 30th 2015) or $9,350.00
  • Sell (to open) the long-term January 2018 $9.00 covered call (bidding $3.35 July 30th 2015) or $3,350 credit
  • The investor has to outlay $6.00 ($9.35 – $3.35) or $6,000 to open the trade
  • The investor has now an average cost base or break-even of $6.00 with an obligation to potentially have to sell the stock at $9.00 over the next 30 months to January 2018
  • In addition, over those 30 months the investor will collect any dividends the company continues to pay

What is compelling about this trade is that the investor can make 50% return without the stock having to actually go up in price. How? Let’s review.

Our investor has outlaid $6,000.00 that, if exercised would be sold at the $9.00 strike or $9,000.00 for a $3,000.00 gain. While 30 months is a long time, how many investors would consider gaining this type of return without needing a stock to appreciate in value?

In all fairness, let’s present the risk scenario. For the illustration purposes, let’s assume that the commodity markets continue to deteriorate and Teck Resources loses a further 50% of its value and drops from $9.35 to $4.67 while our investor owns the shares. Under those circumstances, the investor is losing paper profits as the stock has dropped $1.33 (or 22%) below their $6.00 break-even. While that would be a disappointment, it is not remotely as severe a loss as an investor that purchased the shares outright at $9.35 and held as a buy and hold investor.

While this trade may represent too much risk for some, others that like the company and believe the prices at these levels are attractive can make a very handsome return if proven right.

Patrick Ceresna
Patrick Ceresna http://www.bigpicturetrading.com

Derivatives Market Specialist

Big Picture Trading Inc.

Patrick Ceresna is the founder and Chief Derivative Market Strategist at Big Picture Trading. Patrick is a Chartered Market Technician, Derivative Market Specialist and Canadian Investment Manager by designation. In addition to his roll at Big Picture Trading, Patrick is an instructor on derivatives for the TMX Montreal Exchange, educating investors and investment professionals across Canada about the many valuable uses of options in their investment portfolios. Patrick is also co-host to the MacroVoices weekly podcasts. Patrick specializes in analyzing the global macro market conditions and translating them into actionable investment and trading opportunities. With his specialization in technical analysis, he bridges important macro themes with the attempt to understand when those trends are beginning and understanding where they likely to go. With his expertise in options trading, he seeks to create opportunities that leverage returns, while managing/defining risk and or generating consistent enhanced income. Patrick has designed and teaches Big Picture Trading's Technical, Options and Macro Masters Programs while providing the content for the members in regards to daily live market analytic webinars, alert services and model portfolios.

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