Loading ... ... Please wait!      Loading
Visually Analyze Option Strategies
Market
 Home    Tutorials   Features   APPL 1.0   Webservices   Component-Lib    Login    Subscription   User Guide 



Bull Call Spread

                                                                               

Description

 

Establishing a bull call spread involves the purchase of a call option on a particular underlying stock, while simultaneously writing a call option on the same underlying stock with the same expiration month, at a higher strike price. Both the buy and the sell sides of this spread are opening transactions, and are always the same number of contracts.

 

This spread is sometimes more broadly categorized as a "vertical spread": a family of spreads involving options of the same stock, same expiration month, but different strike prices. They can be created with either all calls or all puts, and be bullish or bearish. The bull call spread, as any spread, can be executed as a "unit" in one single transaction, not as separate buy and sell transactions. For this bullish vertical spread, a bid and offer for the whole package can be requested through your brokerage firm from an exchange where the options are listed and traded.

 

P/L Profile

 

 

 Description: C:\avasaramworkspace\avasaramWeb\web\tutorials\options\Bull Call Spread_files\image001.jpg

 

 

Market Opinion

 

Moderately Bullish to Bullish

 

 

 

When to Use

 

An investor often employs the bull call spread in moderately bullish market environments, and wants to capitalize on a modest advance in price of the underlying stock. If the investor's opinion is very bullish on a stock, it will generally prove more profitable to make a simple call purchase.

Risk Reduction

 

An investor will also turn to this spread when there is discomfort with either the cost of purchasing and holding the long call alone, or with the conviction of his bullish market opinion.

 

Benefit

 

The bull call spread can be considered a double hedge strategy. The price paid for the call with the lower strike price is partially offset by the premium received from writing the call with a higher strike price. Thus, the investor's investment in the long call, and the risk of losing the entire premium paid for it is reduced, or hedged.

On the other hand, the long call with the lower strike price caps or hedges the financial risk of the written call with the higher strike price. If the investor is assigned an exercise notice on the written call and must sell an equivalent number of underlying shares at the strike price, those shares can be purchased at a predetermined price by exercising the purchased call with the lower strike price. As a trade-off for the hedge it offers, this written call limits the potential maximum profit for the strategy.

Risk vs. Reward

 

Maximum loss for this spread will generally occur as the underlying stock price declines below the lower strike price. If both options expire out-of-the-money with no value, the entire net debit paid for the spread will be lost.

The reward is that the bull call spread tends to be profitable when the underlying stock increases in price. It can be established in one transaction, but always at a debit (net cash outflow). The call with the lower strike price will always be purchased at a price greater than the offsetting premium received from writing the call with the higher strike price.

Net Upside

 

Upside Maximum Profit: Limited

Difference Between Strike Prices minus Net Debit Paid

 

Net Downside

 

If the stock price declines at expiration, a loss will occur. However, maximum loss will not be more than the original debit.

 

Break-Even-Point

 

Strike price of purchased call plus net premium paid

 

Volatility

 

The effect of an increase or decrease in the volatility of the underlying stock may be noticed in the time value portion of the options' premiums. The net effect on the strategy will depend on whether the long and/or short options are in-the-money or out-of-the-money, and the time remaining until expiration.

Time Decay

 

The effect of time decay on this strategy varies with the underlying stock's price level in relation to the strike prices of the long and short options. If the stock price is midway between the strike prices, the effect can be minimal. If the stock price is closer to the lower strike price of the long call, losses generally increase at a faster rate as time passes. Alternatively, if the underlying stock price is closer to the higher strike price of the written call, profits generally increase at a faster rate as time passes.

Alternatives before expiration

 

A bull call spread purchased as a unit for a net debit in one transaction can be sold as a unit in one transaction in the options marketplace for a credit, if it has value. This is generally the manner in which investors close out a spread before its options expire, in order to stem a loss or realize profit.

 

Alternatives at expiration

 

If both options have value, investors will generally close out a spread in the marketplace as the options expire. This will be less expensive than incurring the commissions and transaction costs from a transfer of stock resulting from either an exercise of and/or an assignment on the calls. If only the purchased call is in-the-money as it expires, the investor can either sell it in the marketplace if it has value or exercise the call and purchase an equivalent number of shares. In either of these cases, the transaction(s) must occur before the close of the market on the options' last trading day.

 
Copyright 2012, Avasaram LLC. All rights reserved. Version 10.1.1 Follow us on   Contact
Disclaimer
The information contained in this website is provided to you "as is," for your informational purposes only, without any representation or warranty of accuracy or completeness of information or other warranty of any kind. In no event will avasaram.com be liable to any party for any direct, indirect, incidental, special or consequential damages for use of this website or reliance upon any information or material accessed via it or any other hyperlinked website including, but not limited to, damages arising from loss of profits, business interruption, or loss of data.