) shares opened lower today, but have rebounded as the day moved on after the European Union Internal Market Commissioner announced that bond and credit rating agencies, including MHP's Standard & Poor's, will face mandatory new European Union regulation
as a result of these agencies' roles in the U.S. sub-prime mortgage crisis. If you think this stock won't be rising too far in the coming months, then it could be a good time to look at a bearish hedged play on MHP.
After hitting a one-year high of $71.97 last June, the stock hit a one-year low of $33.91 in March. This morning, MHP opened at $42.87. So far today the stock has hit a low of $42.10 and a high of $43.65. As of 12:00, MHP is trading at $43.60, down $0.13 (-0.3%). The chart for MHPlooks bullish and steady.
For a bearish hedged play on this stock, I would consider an August bear-call credit spread
above the $50 range. A bear-call credit spread is an options position that combines the purchase and sale of call options to hedge risk in case the stock doesn't do what you think but still leverage nice returns. This particular trade will make an 11.1% return in two months as long as MHP is below $50 at August expiration. McGraw-Hill would have to rise by more than 14% before we would start to lose money.
MHP hasn't been above $50 since October and has shown resistance around $45 recently. This trade could be risky if the company's earnings (due out in late-July) are a positive surprise, but even if that happens, this position could be protected by resistance MHP might find at its 200 day moving average, which is currently around $44 and falling.
Brent Archer is an options analyst and writer at Investors Observer. At publication time, Brent neither owns nor controls positions in MHP.