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Oil Driller Draws Upside Options Activity Ahead of Earnings

Unit Corporation drew upside option activity late Friday ahead of energy drilling company's earnings release in two weeks.

OptionMonster's tracking systemsdetected activity concentrated at the March 45 contracts, where some 4,000 calls were bought for $2.45. The trades, which included a single print of 2,829, was more than nine times the open interest of 440 contracts and dwarfed the strike's average call volume of just 26 a day for the last month.

The oil and natural gas driller fell 2.08 percent Friday to close at $44.70 but is still up some 22 percent in the last month. Unit, which has encountered resistance near the $50 level, did hit a 52-week high of $51 on Jan. 21 but has been pulling back since then.

For the calls purchased Friday to turn a profit, Unit's stock would need to gain at least 6.15 percent by the time the options expire on March 19. Overall calls outnumbered puts by more than 2 to 1.

Unit is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 22. The company announced on Jan. 19 that it was increasing its capital expenditures for 2010 by 57 percent over last year's budget, to $467 million.

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UNT Competes With:

BP

Nabors Industries

Precision Drilling Trust

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Mike Yamamoto is an analyst and writer for OptionMonster.

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