Put Trade Targets Wayward Imaging Stock

05/15/2012 7:00 am EST

Focus: OPTIONS

With technical and fundamental signals suggesting a continued downtrend in shares of FLIR Systems (FLIR), John Kmiecik, contributor to InvestorPlace.com, identifies a promising long put option trade.

Who hasn't looked at a stock chart and said to themselves that the stock can't go any higher or can't go any lower? Yet other traders can imagine the stock continuing to move in its current direction.

Here's a trade idea that counts on the stock moving lower to profit and is based on technical and fundamental analysis. It involves buying long puts on FLIR Systems (FLIR).

FLIR Systems, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets thermal imaging systems worldwide. The company operates through two divisions, Commercial Systems and Government Systems.

The Commercial Systems division designs, manufactures, and markets instrument, sensor, and electronics solutions that facilitate improved situational awareness and environmental analytics for commercial customers. This division also offers thermal vision and measurement products, including thermal imaging systems, automotive night vision systems, and personal vision thermal cameras, which enable its customers to see at night or in adverse conditions. It also produces electronics for the maritime market, as well as integrated stem-to-stern networked electronic systems for various boats.

The Trade: Buy FLIR July 22 puts for $1.60 or less.

The Strategy: The long put is a strategy that can be used for a bearish outlook on a stock. The trade can profit if the stock falls, and the put premium increases as the option moves further and further in the money (ITM). Maximum profit is almost unlimited because the stock can fall to $0 (highly unlikely), and the maximum loss is $1.60 if FLIR finishes at or above $22 at July expiration.

Breakeven is $20.40 at expiration.

The Rationale: FLIR designs and manufactures thermal imaging systems worldwide. The company has a price/earnings (P/E) ratio below the industry average and below the S&P 500 average. Its earnings per share are lower now than in the same quarter a year earlier.

Technically, FLIR has been in a downtrend since the beginning of March, and don't think the stock can't go lower. FLIR is still considered expensive compared to other companies in its industry.

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Currently, the stock is at a minor support area around $21.30. If it can break support, it might have a good chance to head lower to a five-year support area around $19. The last pivot high ($21.85) should be monitored if the stock rallies higher.

By John Kmiecik, contributor, InvestorPlace.com

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