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Backing Musk’s dream, option traders bet $430 on Tesla

August 23, 2018

Not everyone is giving up on Elon Musk’s dream of transforming Tesla Inc. into a private company.

Options to buy the automaker’s shares at above his suggested $420 take-private level were among the most heavily traded on Wednesday – and they gained in price, even as the stock dipped modestly. The volume on December calls at a $430 strike jumped by more than 7,000 percent, making it the fifth-most active put or call on the company’s shares and the only contract in the top 10 for which the price increased.

While the amounts involved are small – about 3,000 options worth $1.3 million changed hands – it suggests at least some investors see a chance for Tesla to shake off its recent difficulties. They could also represent hedging trades. After initially surging when Musk tweeted that funding was secured for his daring take-private endeavor, Tesla’s share price has since sagged, showing growing skepticism in the wider market.

On the other side of the coin, more than 5,000 options for September puts at $50 – well below Tesla’s $321.64 closing price on Wednesday – were traded, though investors paid less for that way out-of-the-money bet.

–With assistance from Luke Kawa .

To contact the reporters on this story: Eddie van der Walt in London at evanderwalt@bloomberg.net, Todd White in Madrid at twhite2@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Samuel Potter at spotter33@bloomberg.net, Yakob Peterseil

2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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