The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOX) has taken the lead for the worst-performing sector for September, down nearly 6% on the month and nearing seven-week lows. My scans indicate there’s more trouble ahead for the beleaguered sector. Consider my latest results for some of the names in the industry:
- Sell watch for Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT)
- Sell watch for Avent (NYSE:AVT)
- Sell watch for Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN)
- Sell watch for QLogic (NASDAQ:QLGC)
- A problem stock rating for NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA)
- Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) is rated among the weakest stocks
- Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD) is a reconfirmed sell
My analysis revealed an undervalued — and cheap — put option play in chip manufacturing equipment maker Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX).
I recommend buying the LRCX Dec 30 Puts at $1 or lower, where they are currently trading. But be careful: Open interest and volume are light in this name, so using a limit order can help ensure that you don’t overpay.
LRCX is currently trading in the mid-$31 area, but my downside target is $30.20 before December expiration — though I look for this trade to resolve a lot sooner, probably in a matter of weeks. So, take profits in the trade if the stock dips down to my target or if the put options appreciate to $1.80.
To protect yourself and escape with a fair amount of capital if the market’s uptrend resumes, exit the trade if LRCX stock closes above $33.70, or if the put drops to 70 cents.
Ken Trester is editor of the popular Maximum Options program. Trester has been trading options since the first exchanges opened in 1973.