Is Starbucks running out of steam?


A large investor apparently thinks that Starbucks might be topping out after an amazing run.

The coffee-shop operator rallied about 600 percent between early 2009 and early 2012 but has been hovering in a range since then. Now one investor is looking to exit if it goes back to the all-time highs from last year.

optionMONSTER's Depth Charge monitoring system detected the sale of 9,500 May 60 calls for $0.94 and the purchase of an equal number of May 52.50 puts for $0.77. Volume was more than 6 times the open interest at each strike, clearly indicating new activity.

Known as a collar strategy , the trade forces the investor to sell his or her shares for $60 if they close at that level on expiration. It also locks in a minimum sale price for $52.50 if they decline that far, and resulted in a small credit of $0.17. (See our Education section for more on how to manage positions using options.)

SBUX is down 1.02 percent to $57.07 in afternoon trading. While the company's results have mostly been impressive, earnings have been exceeding expectations by a narrowing margin in recent quarters. The next event on the company's calendar is its annual shareholder meeting this Wednesday.

Total option volume in the name is quadruple the daily average so far today, according to the Depth Charge.

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