Zynga calls score with late trade

Last-minute traders collected some fast money after Zynga’s quarterly report last night.

In the final 30 minutes of yesterday’s session, Investitute’s proprietary systems showed that 2,800 Weekly $3 calls expiring today were purchased $0.05 to $0.07 with the stock at $2.87. Volume was well above the strike’s previous open interest of 2,026 contracts, indicating that this was fresh buying just minutes away from the company’s earnings report.

This afternoon those calls went for $0.20, roughly triple their original prices. ZNGA surged 12.68 percent today to close at $3.20, but that gain still paled in comparison to the returns yielded by the options.

Long calls lock in the price where the stock can be purchased, gaining with a rally and providing leverage to the underlying shares. The contracts can quickly lose value if the stock stalls or pulls back but also carry less risk than owning the shares.