With GPRO             nearing its IPO low, I'm looking at an options play that results in my getting assigned the stock -- at the right price, of course. How do you get assigned stock? Basically, you sell a put, and if price is below the strike price of that put at expiration, you are assigned the stock. The converse of this is you sell a call; if price is above the strike price of the call at expiration, you are assigned a short position in the stock.

Keep in mind that each options contract represents 100 shares of the underlying, so if you get assigned 100 shares of stock of GPRO             at the 25 strike price, your position in the stock will be worth $2,500 (25 x 100) minus any credit you received for selling the put.

Post-assignment, you sell short calls against your underlying stock position, which reduces your cost basis in that position. Additionally, selling a call obligates you to sell the underlying stock you were assigned in the event that price at expiration is above the short call price, at which time you realize profit from the sale of your underlying position, assuming that the short call strike is above the short put strike at which you were assigned.

For example: you were assigned 100 shares of GPRO             at 25 (worth $2,500) and sold a call at 40. At expiration of the 40 short call, GPRO's price was 41, thus obligating you to sell 100 shares of GPRO             at 40. Your profit would basically be $4,000 (100 shares @ 40) - $2,500 (100 shares at 25), plus any credit you received for selling the short put and the short call or around $1,500.

The downside is that GPRO's price continues to decline from the point at which you were assigned, in which case you continue to sell out-of-the-money calls to reduce your cost basis in the underlying stock and that, while you do this, you tie up $2,500 of buying power in the stock itself and the buying power associated with selling calls against that position. Additionally, there is always the possibility that price declines so substantially that the short calls you're selling against the underlying are at strikes below the price at which you were assigned, which could result in a loss should price exceed a short call strike initiated below the price at which you were assigned.

Naturally, you can cut out the short put step altogether and proceed to buy 100 shares of the stock outright at current market prices, proceed to sell calls against, thus reducing cost basis in the position, and look to exit ownership of the underlying when the price of the underlying exceeds a short call strike.

At this point, I am looking for a potential assignment at or below the 25 strike and am keeping an eye on things as GPRO             appears to be on the verge of breaking below 32 and potentially making a new 52-week low ... . Naturally, with earnings right around the corner, I'm torn between waiting for additional weakness and missing a potential opportunity. Previous earnings announcements have largely been surprises to the upside, but one never knows ... .
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