Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Momentum Won’t Quit, What About Options?


When it comes to Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), investors are pretty split on the matter. Some have boldly shorted the automaker’s stock, which history has shown hasn’t been good. But what about investors who like Tesla but aren’t sure about the company’s current valuation? They may be less inclined to short it, but options are starting to look pretty attractive.

Barron’s contributor Steven M. Sears has some suggestions.

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Tesla drives up 600%

He notes that after Tuesday’s increase in share price, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares have now risen about 590% over the last 12 months, and the stock shows no signs of quitting. On Tuesday, all it took was an extremely bullish report from Morgan Stanley analysts, who think the stock is worth $320 a share. If they are, indeed, correct, investors may be able to benefit from buying options.

He suggests instead of buying shares outright now, investors might purchase a June $300 call for $12.55. Each contract is 100 shares and is much less expensive than just buying the stock. By purchasing this option, investors can get in on Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s momentum while still hedging their bets against downside.

If the stock hits $320 a share, the call will be worth $20, but if shares decline without ever hitting $320, then the money is lost. However, investors have limited their losses rather than exposing themselves to the full price of the automaker’s stock.

Suggesting a more aggressive option for Tesla

Investors who want to be a bit more aggressive may think about purchasing the $250 call at a price of $14. That call expires on March 21. Investors who want to lower the cost of this options purchase might sell the March $235 put at $8.10. The total position then is $5.90, and investors will benefit when the stock crosses $250, which it already has. However, if the stock drops under $235, then it must either be purchased, or the put covered at a much higher price.

These numbers are probably a bit outdated, but you get the idea. If you want to check out more current options prices, Yahoo! Finance does a pretty decent job of keeping up to date.