Facebook options spotlight

It took just 10 minutes for Facebook options to trade 170,000 contracts as its share price leapt to a post-earnings record high at $78.44.

That means the shares would now need to rise by 27% to reach triple-digits, which is far more doable than the 82% leap of faith that was required at the end of 2013 (FB shars were at $54.80 on 12/31/13).

So we thought it would be interesting to crunch the odds of reaching $100 per share using available option expirations. According to current option pricing, investors see a 1.5% chance of jumping that far by Sept. 19. The odds of doing so one month later are just 3.6%, while by December 19 they jump to 9.2%.

Option traders currently assign a 10.3% chance of closing above $100 in time for options settlement January 16, 2015, six months from now.

However, the odds improve substantially to 21.7%--or roughly one-in-five--by January 2016. 


Chart: Probability of landing above $100 by January 2016.

About the Author

Andrew is a seasoned trader and commentator of global financial markets. He worked for several London-based banks trading cash and derivatives before moving to the U.S. to attend graduate school.