Option Trader Ups Ante on Las Vegas Sands (LVS), Leucadia National (LUK)

It’s already shaping up to be a busy week of unusual options trading by insiders and hedgies.    There have already been two large unusual plays in Leucadia National Corp (LUK), and in Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS).

Leucadia National Corp (LUK) is very interesting in that it’s a holding company that owns investment banking firm Jefferies.  Interestingly it also has holdings in beef processing, telecom, gaming, real estate, and energy. Now there’s diversity!  Anyways,  a trader bought 2,779 LUK October $27.50 calls right at the opening bell.   That makes this little bet a transaction value of just $60,000 or so, but it is very unusual none the less.  As of 10:00 there has now been a total of 3910 contracts traded in Leucadia National Corp (LUK) October 27.50’s.

Leucadia National Corp (LUK) is currently trading at $26.24 down 12 cents and well off it’s day high hit around the time of the big call buy.   LUK has a 52 week high of $29.56, and a low of $24.09 for the year. That’s a pretty tight range.    It’s traded almost 200,000 shares so far today versus it’s average volume traded of 1.25 million shares.  Not exactly an exciting stock is it?  Which makes this little call buy all the more unusual.

leucadia-national_LUK - logoLeucadia National Corp (LUK) doens’t have a big following by analysts.  The company is scheduled to report Q3 earnings on November 3, 2014.  We like this interesting trade, and are in for a bit.

Meanwhile another trader thinks that  Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS) is going higher.  The trader bought 4,000 of the LVS December $72.50 calls. They paid $.52 at the ask, for those calls that expire in December.  That makes for a transaction value of almost $208,000.   A nice sized “bet” for any stock in the gaming industry.

Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS) is currently trading at $62.46 down 36 cents on the day, though well off its earlier low of $61.84 since the call buying.  LVS has a 52 week high of $88.28, and a low of $58.03 for the year.  It’s traded 1.2 million shares today so far, and normal daily volume is 5.1 million shares on average.

Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS) announces quarterly earnings October 15, but we suspect this call buying has no relation to those earnings.  Clearly someone knows an upgrade is coming, or some other corporate event?  It’s a good sized bet, but we are not feeling the love on this one right now, after getting burned by Boyd Gaming earlier this year.