Current trading strategy
To someone jut getting in, or even someone in with a low cost basis, there is a potential strategy to employ right now:
1) Buy 10 July $3 calls for up to 65 cents
2) Buy 1000 shares of stock at $1.85
3) Sell 10 April $1.50 puts for 17 cents, or the $1.00 put for a nickle Other alternatives include selling a 1.50/1 put spread for 10 cents or even the $2/$1.50 put spread for 26 cents but this has more risk considering that the stock has a hard time staying above $2. You would be betting on a one up over $2 by 3rd week in April.
4) If and when the stock rises to $2.30 at any time, sell your 1000 shares
(you can do more than 10 options and 1000 shares, just try to keep it even - except, you can sell more puts if you want to. Eg sell 15 or 20 puts for every 10 calls/1000 shares because while this is the riskiest part of the trade it is also the least likely to occur IMHO).
The money you profit from by selling the puts and selling shares on a slight move up will give you those July calls for free. If the stock does not rise to $2.30, you have to unload all your shares before the panel at any price, or before the Qnexa PDUFA whichever comes first.
If the FDA approves the drug, you will be able to buy shares for $3 each by exercising the july calls, which should be a good price. And if the stock goes above $6 in July, you can sell half your calls and exercise the other half with house money, giving you an arna share position entirely for free.
Risks in this play include:
1) The stock price falls unexpectedly and the put price rises a lot. You will have to buy shares at the put price on expiration day or close the puts for a loss. This is the biggest risk money wise, but IMHO has a very low probability of happening. Something very unexpected would have to happen to push this stock way below $1.50 at this point. And if it just falls to, say, $1.30 it won't be so bad. If you sold the $1.50 puts for 17 cents and the stock falls to $1.30 you only really lost 3 cents a share, or $30 for every 10 contracts. This is why I like the trade, it is unlikely IMHO to fall under $1.50. The puts you sell are likely to just expire worthless, with you keeping the premium of 17 cents or $170 for every 10 contracts.
2) The stock doesn't move much, it stays at $1.80. In this case you still keep the 17 cents from fhe puts, but you have to sell your shares for little to no profit or perhaps a slight loss. Let's assume you can sell the shares for the same price you paid. You profited 17 cents from the puts, but you still have the canals you paid 65 cents for, they might now only be worth 35 cents ( though IMHO they will probably still be worth 50-60 cents due to the anticipated binary risk) At that point you have to decide to either close the calls and take a relatively small loss (or small profit when you include the 17 cents from the put), or, you hold the calls for the potential reward.
But if the stock goes to $2.30 in march or April, you sell the shares and profit 50 cents per share plus 17 cents on the puts, leaving you with 67 cents profit there which covers the cost of the July $3 calls, which would probably then be worth 75 cents or more. In fact if the stock does go to $2.30, I would recommend closing the puts and the shares out all at once, that way you don't have to keep watching the day to day moves and worry if younwill get put the shares, you will own the long calls almost entirely free. Not for free but damn close to free.