Hedging Naked Calls with Stocks

You sell a naked call on a stock trading at 50 for a 45-day April call at strike price 65. The stock price starts to shoot up immediately and half way to April expiration, the stock price is already at 60, and naturally your call price is way under water. So you start to hedge with 25 shares of the stock. You add 50s shares at 62 and then the final 25 shares at 64.50, so now your naked call is covered.

But the stock price continues to move much higher, all the way to 75 a week before expiration. Now the 100 shares are showing a nice profit, but you need them to cover the April 65 call at expiration. But do you?

What if you rolled the April call at 65 all the way to the LEAPS 85 call at break even on the roll. That gives you a new 10 dollar leeway on this new naked call at 85, which you would again hedge by buying the stock, if need be. Although this tactic creates a lot of time exposure, if you do it, it would allow you to sell your 100 shares and take the profit ($1287) on the stock now that the price has sharply risen to 75, and it may be that the new naked call way up at the lofty price at 85 is a bridge too far for the stock to ever reach, despite the 8-month exposure, given its recent sharp rise.

Would you take that bet? You don’t get paid for not taking risk. If you don’t take the bet, you forgo the $1287 profit on the 100 shares, and merely walk away with the premium on the 65 call after the shares are called away — comparatively little to show for your trade, although now you are risk free, which is a positive. But if you do take the bet, you get the $1287, and if the stock fails to reach 85, you get to keep the premium as well — or the same scenario may play out on the 85 naked call.

Covering Naked Calls

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