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What's behind big call activity in RIMM

David Russell (david.russell@optionmonster.com)

A large investor is adjusting a long position in Research In Motion, which has been dropping like a rock.

optionMONSTER's tracking systems yesterday detected the purchase of about 50,000 January 11 calls for $0.53 and the sale of an equal number of January 14 calls for $0.19. Volume was below open interest in the 14s but not the 11s, suggesting that an existing position was rolled to the lower strike.

The transaction cost the investor $0.34 and increases exposure to a rally in because he or she now own calls with a lower strike price and a higher delta . While bullish on the surface, the trade could be the work of an investor who is short RIMM and is using the calls as a hedge.

Such a strategy would be the mirror image of owning protective puts to protect a long position in a stock. (See our Education section)

RIMM climbed 4.63 percent to $7.69 yesterday but has lost almost three-quarters of its value in the last year. Results have grown increasingly negative at the company, whose once-ubiquitous BlackBerry phones have been steadily losing market share.

Overall option volume was more than twice the daily average in yesterday's session, with calls outnumbering puts by more than 4 to 1.

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