As I have said before I am increasingly looking at using longer term option plays to get myself in to stock. I have been looking at Caterpillar( NYSE: CAT) for a while as it has come off its highs steadily since May last year. It is currently not in favour as most people think it is a play on the state of the US housing Market.As I have outlined in this blog on previous occasions the big money is to be made going against what your psyche is telling you.
We tend to not want to buy something that is out of favour but want to pile in with the crowd-remember the halcyon days of Dot.com ?? The issue with Caterpillar is that it is not solely reliant on the US housing mkt in fact a large proportion of its revenue comes from the heavy mining and construction side of things.Therefore these two old chestnuts of Natural resources and China come to the fore again.
If you look through this blog, it is unmistakable that I am a commodities bull, as our needs for raw materials and commodities such as copper, coal, iron ore etc etc increase-China and rest of world demand, then the machinery necessary to excavate, transport and deliver these commodities is bound to be in increasing demand.Caterpillar is a major player in this market so increased demand for these commodities is likely to drive increased demand for their equipment.
This is not a story that has been really picked up by the general investing public hence the shares are languishing. I believe though that eventually this will sink in and people will start to pile in.
To further enhance the potential upside Caterpillar today announced a 5 year plan to buy back $7.5 Billion in stock, that is about 17% of the outstanding shares.On its own that would be enough to give them a boost.Coupled with a likely increased demand for the shares then I think Caterpillar is a good mid term play.
The shares were up today closing at $67.62, there are a couple of ways to place this, you could buy the stock outright, or as I favour you could look at a LEAP option, if you have read my previous post on Delta then you will know we want to go for an ITM (in the money option).I favour the Jan 2008 60 Call, it shot up a bit today closing around the $11-50 mark this means you would pay $1150 for the right to buy 100 shares of CAT for $60 any time up to Jan 2008.The break even is $71.50 at today's close, the delta is around 80 which means you will get approx 80c movement in the option for each $1 movement in the stock -but you are paying a lot less to control 100 shares worth of stock than you would buying them outright.
I am going to buy the LEAP and will pay up to $12 with a view to holding it for 6-9 mths unless we get a short sharp increase in the stock when I may consider selling it early.
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