On Friday I was assigned on a covered call strategy for NIO. We opened the position 9/16/20 and have been rolling the short calls since then. I had an order in to roll the options but the order did not get filled and I was not able to check and adjust the order…..so I end up with a short term capital gain instead of holding on for another 107 days to get to long term capital gains.
We did not maximize the profit of the position. In early February before NIO stock started trending down the position had a profit of over $32,000 (black line in the graph below).
Overall NIO has been a good stock for a covered call strategy due to the excellent option premiums. Both the stock and options contributed to the overall profit…..a difficult combination to achieve. I will reopen a new CC strategy in NIO in the near future.
Over the past year I have “managed” a covered call position on Amazon. During the year the short call options have been rolled 123 times. The rolls have been to keep the short strikes “at the money”. Both the stock ($83,839) and short options ($13,921) have both contributed to the profit.
The stock has dropped recently but gains from the options have offset some of the losses.
Reaching 365 days is a key part of the position strategy. The gains on the stock will now be taxed at the long term capital gains rate of 15% (assuming we hold on to the gain) versus short term capital gains.
Chart above shows the daily profit/loss for the stock/option and net starting January 24th.
Patience with the VIAC CC is starting to pay off. On April 1 when we established the CC and bought the stock at $45.12 we thought VIAC had hit bottom….but the stock continued to decline (blue line showing profit/loss on the stock). Despite the drop in the stock we resisted the temptation to roll the May 21 $45 Call down. As the stock recovers the short option has remained profitable. Had we rolled down we would have offset some of the gain from the stock recovery. Plans are to keep the position and roll the calls as we approach 21 days to expiry.
The position has become profitable….we can almost buy a case of beer!
The charts below show two investment strategies around Covered Calls. We had a similar outlook on both stocks when the positions were originally set up (bullish long term). Both stocks pay a good dividend.
The top example is Abbott (ABT) and the bottom one is Lincoln Financial (LNC). With ABT we established a covered call and added bull put spreads (BuPS) over time. With LNC we only used covered calls. In both scenarios we rolled the options. ABT allowing weekly rolls and LNC monthly. Key to understanding the impact of adding the BUPS is tracking the return on the options (red line).
By adding BuPS to the Abbott strategy the loss on the short call options as the stock increased in price was offset by the gains on BuPS. With LNC the loss on the short call options offset much of the gain on the stock. The gap between the blue line (stock profit) and yellow line (net profit) is key. With LNC the gap continued to widen as the stock increased in price. We realized very little from the recent stock appreciation. In hindsight we could have written more aggressive strike prices on LNC (usually write ATM so we have a reasonable level of downside protection).
Take away for me…..after opening or when opening a covered call if you continue to feel bullish on the stock adding BuPS can offset losses on the short calls as the stock appreciates. Return in both examples is acceptable….but we left money on the table with LNC. CC versus just BuPS allowed us to capture the dividends. In these examples the dividend isn’t playing a significant role due to stock appreciation…..but this is the exception. Collecting the dividend can represent a key contribution in some situations.
Charts are showing impact from Jan 24, 21. Positions have been open for 332 and 302 days. We are getting close to the stock gains becoming long term capital gains.
In May 20 we established a CC on AMAZ. Since that time we have rolled the short calls 100+ times. The goal has been to make the options “additive” to the profits. After 11 months the options are only contributing $2,543 to the position. When AMAZ price dropped the options helped offset some of the drop helping the account volatility; As AMAZ price bounced back the options gave up the gains. We have mostly sold and adjusted each week (and mid week) to “at the money” strikes. Position has generated good return but disappointed with the net from the options. I did get more aggressive with strike prices but not enough when the stock started to run. In one more month the gains on the stock will become long term provided I don’t get assigned in the next month.
I switched the tracking system 1/24/21 so the graph doesn’t show the early period. When the position was set up in May 20 everything was at $0.
NIO CC Strategy established 9/16/20 has been able to hold onto most of the profits (black line) despite the erosion in stock profits (blue line). NIO call premiums have remained at a reasonable level due to the volatility. As the stock profits declined the option profits (orange line) has been offsetting. Overall the position is generating a profit of $23,184 a return on capital of 77% or 130% annualized. We would like to hold the shares until 9/16/21 so we pay long term capital gains on the stock.
Our VIAC CC strategy has not worked out very well so far. We bought the stock after the steep decline thinking it was a good entry point. Unfortunately the stock has continued to decline (blue line) and the profits from the short calls are not able to offset the stock decline. We will continue to hold the strategy and roll the calls as they expire as VIAC pays a good dividend and we feel confident the stock will eventually bounce back.
Our IB account has been “stalled” since early February. To protect the gains from 2020 the account went from carrying margin of $150,000 to $200,000 in cash. We missed the opportunity with the recent rally but feel comfortable that we protected the gains. We have opened some new small CC positions primarily in stocks where we like the growth and dividend. Plans are to continue writing covered calls against the positions.
Current positions in the account are generating a net profit of $135,572. Six of the positions are more profitable due to contributions from the options. 8 of the 11 positions are profitable overall. Last Friday we had options on SDC and DGX expiring. We didn’t like the roll prices so we let them expire and have not sold new calls yet. ABT, DGX, MPLX, PBR and VIAC were all Dividend Capture Strategies (plus covered calls).
Abbott is a good covered call candidate. In our IB account we purchased 100 shares on 4/1/21 and sold the May $120 Call option. We rolled the option to May $125 (if the stock drops today we might regret the roll up!).
Our unrealized return on capital for the position is 2.4% in 18 days or 49% annualized. We picked up the $.45 dividend on April 15.
Abbott missed revenue forecast for the quarter but exceeded EPS by $.05. If the stock experiences a dip we will likely add to our position as we like the long term prospects. We also own ABT in our Schwab accounts. It is a dividend aristocrat which is hard to find “on sale”.
On March 24 we established a Covered Call on NUE. The objective of the trade was to capture a dividend of $.405 (ex-div on March 30). We purchased 500 shares of the stock @$69.17 and wrote 5 “in the money” Apr 1 $67 Call options for a premium. of $2.64 per share . The call option premium provided 3.8% protection against a potential decline in stock value before we could collect the dividend.
The graph shows what happened after the CC was established. NUE stock had a run up in price (blue line) and closed yesterday at $78.75. At the close we were generating profits of $4,790 on the stock and a loss of $3,331 (red line) on the options.
The owner of the calls elected to call the shares away last night so they could collect the $.405 dividend. We sold the shares at $67 resulting in a loss of $1,,085 on the stock. Our short options became $0 and generated a profit of $1,394 resulting in net position profit of $240. Graphs shows the impact of the assignment with stock losing, option gaining and a small net profit.
$240 is not a lot of money in an account of any size…..but with market dynamics and volatility so hard to predict it was a reasonably “safe” trade that generated an annal return of 44%. They key is stringing a series of these “dividend capture” trades together on a weekly basis. In this situation the return on our investment was higher with the shares getting called away but the after tax gain would likely be higher collecting the dividend (taxed at a lower % than the gain on stock/option). We have five similar trades in play this week. My concern with the strategy is having one of the stocks experience a big decline that would offset the benefit of many smaller gains. If the strategy works over time we can easily scale the size of the trades to generate higher $ returns. If the stock falls below the short strike price we have an option of continuing to sell calls against the stock or selling the stock.
On the weekend we were assigned on our 3,000 shares of SDC. We were short 30 Mar 26 $10.50 Call options.
On Friday as the market was closing SDC was hovering right around $10.50. The market maker wanted us to pay up to $.05 to buy back the short calls. We did not think this was a “fair” price so we let the position play out. Ideally the stock would have closed at $10.49 and allowed us to keep the shares…..but it closed at $10.56 resulting in the shares getting called away.
The graph on the bottom right shows what happened over the course of holding the position. Immediately after opening the position the stock jumped up (blue line). Stock price deteriorated after that resulting in a loss of $1,680. We rolled the options each week. The premiums collected allowed us to make a profit on the options of $2,340. Net profit was $660. 56% annualized return on the capital required….so we are happy with the trade. We will open a new SDC position of similar size on Monday morning.