Monday, July 23, 2007

Select Comfort option expired

So Select Comfort ended last week under $17.50, so the call option I sold expired worthless. As I mentioned previously, I'll be on the lookout for a chance to sell another option soon. One issue is that the company releases 2nd Quarter earnings on Wednesday afternoon. Selling a call option before then is at least partially a bet on there being no upside surprises in that release. I don't like to speculate on what is basically unknowable, so I will likely pass on the premium until Thursday at the soonest. If by some chance, the news on Wednesday exceeds my expectations, I might look at a higher strike price on later dated options.

One problem with selling call options on Select Comfort is that roughly a quarter of the outstanding shares are sold short. That's a lot of buying potential if relatively good news causes short sellers to unwind their positions. Paradoxically, extreme short interest tends to be a positive sign for companies that aren't scams or on the way to bankruptcy. All those short-sellers are going to need to buy back shares sooner or later, which means extra demand at some point down the road.

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