NiSource bull betting on steady gains

optionMONSTER

One investor is turning time into money as NiSource steadily plods higher.

optionMONSTER's tracking programs detected the sale of 3,568 January 42 calls for $0.55 and the purchase of an equal number of July 37 calls for $2.05. Volume was below open interest in the nearer-dated contracts, which suggests that an existing position was closed and rolled forward in time.

He or she probably owns shares in the Indiana-based utility company and previously wrote the July contacts as part of a covered-call strategy . That obligated them to unload shares for $37, and today's transaction raised their exit price to $42. Making the adjustment cost $1.50 but also opened the door to earn $5 more. (See our Education section)

NI is down fractionally percent to $38.76 in afternoon trading but is up 18 percent so far this year. It has benefited from increased natural-gas distribution and transmission revenue, along with strong electricity sales. The stock broke out to record highs in February, giving profitable trades to optionMONSTER subscribers in January and May .

Total option volume is 5 times greater than average so far in the session, with calls outnumbering puts by more than 100 to 1.


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