High-Yield Trade of the Week: United Parcel Service (UPS)

This week’s High-Yield Trade of the Week is with United Parcel Service (UPS).

I made a similar trade in my retirement portfolio yesterday that generated $580 in income.

In short, I sold another call option on the 100 shares of UPS I had originally purchased for $113.62 in a high-yield trade I made back in April 2019.

That original high-yield trade generated $322 in cash and the option expired on June 21, 2019.

In late July, I sold the October 18, 2019 $120 option on those same 100 shares for $3.50 per share (which generated $350 in cash).

That option expired as well, so on October 21, 2019 I sold the December 20, 2019 $120 option for $3.64.

That high-yield trade generated $364 in cash, and the option expired in December 2019. Then, in January 2020, I sold the March 20, 2020 $115 option for $3.90 (which generated $390 in cash). That option expired as well!

With UPS trading above my purchase price once again, yesterday was the perfect opportunity to sell yet another call option and generate even more income. I sold the September 18, 2020 $115 option for $5.80 per share, which put $580 immediately in my retirement account, where I made the trade.

Since all of this can be a bit confusing, here’s what we’re looking at:

Call Option Income from UPS Trades:
$322 (100 @ $3.22) – April 2019
$350 (100 @ $3.50) – July 2019
$364 (100 @ $3.60) – October 2019
$390 (100 @ $3.90) – January 2020
$580 (100 @ $5.80) – July 2020 (my latest trade!)
TOTAL: $2,002

Considering my initial outlay of $11,362 — when I bought 100 shares at $113.62 — the call income alone has now generated a 17.7% realized return in cash. Throw in the 3%-plus dividend yield, and that puts the total income at 20%-plus… from a stock that has basically traded sideways!

If you’re not already in our previous UPS trade, and you’re looking for a new high-yield trade idea with the stock, here’s the opportunity we’re looking at as we go to press…

High-Yield Trade of the Week:
Sell the September 18, 2020 $115 call on shares of United Parcel Service (UPS)

As we go to press, UPS is selling for around $114.42 per share and the September 18, 2020 $115 calls are going for about $5.85 per share.

Our trade would involve buying 100 shares of UPS and simultaneously selling one of those calls.

By selling a call option, we’re giving the buyer of the option the right, but not the obligation, to purchase our 100 shares at $115 per share (the “strike” price) anytime before March 20 (the contract “expiration” date).

In exchange for that opportunity, the buyer of the option is paying us $5.85 per share (the “premium”).

Because we’re collecting immediate income when we open the trade, we’re lowering our cost basis on the shares we’re buying from $114.42 to $108.57.

In other words, we’re buying the stock at a 5.2% discount to its current price.

That’s what makes this trade safer than simply purchasing shares of the underlying stock the “traditional” way.

With all of this in mind, there are two likely ways our High-Yield Trade of the Week would work out, and they both offer significantly higher income than what we’d collect if we relied on the stock’s dividends alone.

To be conservative, we don’t include any dividends in our calculations for either of the following scenarios. The annualized yields are generated from options premium and applicable capital gains alone. So any dividends collected are just “bonus” that will boost our overall annualized yields even further. Let’s take a closer look at each scenario…

Scenario #1: UPS stays under $115 by September 18

If UPS stays under $115 by September 18, our options contract will expire and we’ll get to keep our 100 shares.

In the process, we’ll receive $585 in income ($5.85 x 100 shares).

That income would be collected instantly, when the trade opens.

Excluding commissions, if “Scenario 1″ plays out, we’d receive a 5.1% yield for selling the covered call ($5.85 / $114.42) in 73 days. That works out to a 25.6% annualized yield.

Scenario #2: UPS climbs over $115 by September 18

If UPS climbs over $115 by September 18, our 100 shares will get sold (“called away”) at $115 per share.

In “Scenario 2” — like “Scenario 1” — we’ll collect an instant $585 in income ($5.85 x 100 shares) when the trade opens. We’ll then collect another $58 in capital gains ($0.58 x 100) when the trade closes because we’ll be buying 100 shares at $114.42 and selling them at $115.00.

In this scenario, excluding any commissions, we’d be looking at a $643.00 profit.

From a percentage standpoint, this scenario would deliver an instant 5.1% yield for selling the covered call ($5.85 / $114.42) and a 0.5% return from capital gains ($0.58 / $114.50).

At the end of the day, we’d be looking at a 5.6% total return in 73 days, which works out to a 28.1 annualized yield from UPS.

Here’s how we’d make the trade…
We’d place a “Buy-Write” options order with a Net Debit price of as close to $108.57 ($114.42 – $5.85) as we can get — the lower the better. Options contracts work in 100-share blocks, so we’d have to buy at least 100 shares of United Parcel Service (UPS) for this trade. For every 100 shares we’d buy, we’d “Sell to Open” one options contract using a limit order. Accounting for the $585 in premium we’d collect for selling one contract, that would require a minimum investment of $10,857.

Good Trading!
Greg Patrick

P.S. We’d only make this trade if: 1) we wanted to own the underlying stock anyways 2) we believed it was trading at a reasonable price 3) we were comfortable owning it for the long-haul in case the price drops significantly below our cost basis by expiration and 4) we were comfortable letting it go if shares get called away. To be mindful of position sizing, except in rare cases, the value of this trade wouldn’t exceed 5% of our total portfolio value. In addition, to minimize taxes and tax paperwork, we would most likely make this trade in a retirement account, such as an IRA or 401(k).

Please note: We’re not registered financial advisors and these aren’t specific recommendations for you as an individual. Each of our readers have different financial situations, risk tolerance, goals, time frames, etc. You should also be aware that some of the trade details (specifically stock prices and options premiums) are certain to change from the time we do our research, to the time we publish our article, to the time you’re alerted about it. So please don’t attempt to make this trade yourself without first doing your own due diligence and research.

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