Alexander Valtsev
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Here Is What To Do If You Missed The Train With Anavex Life Sciences

(Image courtesy of Bidness ETC)

I am sorry but there is no time machine. If you have missed the 15%+ hike in Anavex Life Sciences's (AVXL) stock today, like I have, there is nothing you can do about the missed opportunity.

The hike was not random. And no, the company is not being bought out. Here is what really happened, as Bidness ETC explains:

Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (NASDAQ:AVXL) shares jumped as high as 23.48% during the early trading hours today. The stock surged after The Telegraph reported in a video that an Alzheimer’s patient has regained the ability to play piano after being treated with Anavex 2-73 — the company’s oral drug candidate that aims to modify the disease, instead of temporarily addressing its symptoms.

The pharmaceutical company explained that the drug has revealed significant potential to improve neuroprotection and cognition for Alzheimer’s patients. It action mechanism is sigma-1 receptor activation and M1 muscarinic allosteric modulation. Moreover, Anavex 2-73 showed the ability to protect post-synaptic dendritic spines and reverse synaptic loss in hippocampal neurons, which is important for learning and memory.

Great news, and not only from the investing standpoint.

Now that you are late for the train, here is what I suggest doing:


Essentially, do a reverse iron condor strategy: buy the straddle and sell the strangle. Initially, I wanted to do the opposite but then I figured out the strategy would be too risky as the stock is a hell of a roller coaster: its 52-week high is north of $14 per share, while the 52-week low is just above $1 per share, according to Google Finance. I like net credit positions more for a number of reasons but this one is an exception. You can see why in the picture below:


Currently, the stock is just below the upper break-even point. If it rises above $6.34 in the next several days, you will be able to scalp Gamma. On the other hand, the abundance of red on the chart suggests that there is also a good chance that the trade will turn sour. In fact, the maximum amount you can lose if $135 - the minimum size of the deal, as it involves buying and selling 1 contract at each strike. However, I am positive about the idea for two reasons: (1) the news will likely serve as a catalyst for the stock to move higher over the course of the next month and (2) the stock has proven to be too volatile to sit in a confined range.

In absolute terms, the maximum return is not that attractive when compared to the maximum drawdown. I agree with that. If this idea is not appealing to you or you want to stay invested in the stock for a longer period of time, go ahead and buy the actual stock, sell the call (out-of-money) and buy some puts to protect yourself from the downside. There is no "the only true way" in investing. There are many variants out there. I like this trade for two reasons: 

(1) I can make money quickly with this setup (although not a lot);

(2) The initial investment is really small (compared to the long position in the actual stock).

I am positive that the stock will be quite volatile in the next 4-5 weeks. In addition, in just two weeks, the company will be reporting Q2 2016 results. This should definitely add some volatility to the market.

Please let me know what you think of this trade. Feel free to suggest your own trade ideas!