Option for Stock replacement in IBM

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I currently own 300 shares of IBM             and bought in averaging 121 per share. IBM             current price: 151.35. I am mixed between taking a profit or holding out for more gains. What to do? Well, buying call options in IBM             will allow me to stay long while at the same time take my profit on the stock gains. This all sounds good and easy but not all market environments war-rant, in my mind, simply buying calls to replace a long-stock position. But there is currently a trend I see occurring in IBM             that is begging my trading-intuition to pull the trigger on. Let’s take a look at the earnings history for IBM             utilizing the MarketChamelion data.

Going back the last few years, one can see that IBM             has consistently sold-off following earnings announcements.

Folks, I’m not sure about you all but I get the feeling that the market and the analysts have started to realize that whatever announcement IBM             makes on earnings day, well, the stock sure is not going up. And we all know that trading is not an exact science. I see it as a blend of logic based on the data provided to us and our own market intuition. In the IBM             scenario, I see these consistent down days in IBM             following earnings as a sign that traders and analysts are starting to lower their bullish expectations on IBM             following earnings , and this is being priced into the current stock price. Based on the data, my gut tells me that the downside in IBM             is limited and therefore I am comfortable holding this stock for further gains and that the probability of a larger upside move is greater than the market has priced in.

With IBM             expected to release earnings on 01/17/17, I take a look at the Marketchamelion data for IBM             options expiring January 17, 2017
I can buy the IBM             155 calls for 3.50. Sure, if IBM             were guaranteed to go straight up I’d make more money owning the stock verse buying the calls, but like I mentioned, I bought in at 120, and under the current signs I am seeing in the market for IBM             , the upside is alive and well and the market will reward any bit of good news on earnings day. I’ll take my risk off the table and sell my long stock and then buy the calls, still retaining possible upside post earnings gains I am expecting. I can always buy an extra call or two, bringing my potential holdings on the stock to 500 shares via options holding verse 300 shares verse my past stock holding. My profits in the stock allow me to take this added risk. And if we get a big move upwards I’ll potentially make more money than I would have had I held on to the 300 shares, verse the 500 long shares I’ll have via the options.
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