Our previous article on the diagonal spread trade pointed out how this strategy incorporates the best features of the vertical spread and the horizontal spread while avoiding some of the drawbacks of each.
In the previous article, the diagonal spread trade was illustrated with Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) call options. It was also discussed how the trade could be continued forward by utilizing weekly options. The discussion here provides an update on the original diagonal spread and indicates how it could be continued forward toward the July 19 expiration date.
In early June with PG trading near $78, it was anticipated that the stock price might be moving up over the next six weeks in anticipation of a strong earning report on August 1. To guard against some time loss in a long call option while waiting for the stock to move up, a diagonal spread with PG call options was selected.
Original Trade (6/11):
Buy 1 July (monthly) 75 call for $3.60 and sell 1 June (monthly) 80 call for $.35 for a net cost of $3.25.
First Continuation (6/21):
With PG trading around $77.50, the June (monthly) 80 call expired worthless. The June (weekly exp 6/28) 80 call was sold for $.15, reducing the cost basis of the July (monthly) 75 call down to $3.10.
Second Continuation (6/28):
With PG trading around $77, the June (weekly exp 6/28) 80 call expired worthless. The July (weekly exp 7/5) 80 call was sold for $.10, reducing the cost basis of the July (monthly) 75 call down to $3.00.
Third Continuation (7/5):
With PG trading around $78.50, the July (weekly exp 7/5) 80 call will expired worthless. The July (weekly exp 7/12) 80 call was sold for $.25, reducing the cost basis of the July (monthly) 75 call down to $2.75.
Outlook (7/5 to 7/19):
By selling weekly calls every Friday beginning with 6/21, the original cost of the July (monthly) call has been reduced from $3.60 down to $2.75 while waiting for the price of PG stock to move up. This continuation with weekly options has produced a profit when simply holding the long Jul 75 would currently reflect a small loss. Moreover, it has not been necessary to abandon the original viewpoint that PG stock would make a move up as we progress toward the expiration our July 75 call on 7/19.
By continuing the diagonal spread with the selling of weekly options, sufficient compensation has been achieved to offset the time value lost in the long July (monthly) call. If at any time along the way, there had been a surge in the PG stock price to a level above $80, the diagonal spread could have been closed for a nice profit. Selling weekly options also allowed for a frequent re-evaluation of the long position to see if an early exit seemed appropriate.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.