Boost your Verizon dividend by 10%

Selling weekly or monthly calls is a way to generate serious income.

By Traders Reserve May 6, 2013 5:55PM

by Michael Shulman

Verizon Communications (VZ) is a great play on the explosion in the use of mobile devices. It plans to buy back the half of Verizon Wireless it does not own, trading off its balance sheet to boost earnings -- if it can get the deal done.


I see Verizon as a growth stock that throws off some income -- the yield is a smidgen below 4%. That's a barely acceptable dividend but the appreciation potential for the shares is much better than for most income stocks. I first recommended Verizon at $40.60 and it is now $53.80. You get the point. I still see it running to $64 or more in a year or two.

And along the way, you can generate some serious income selling weekly or monthly calls.


A consistent way to generate profits


Here is some simple math:

File photo of a Verizon store (© Eric Thayer/Getty Images)If you buy the shares and then sell a weekly $54 call -- this week, right now -- and you get called out, you will generate $48 in cash per 100 shares. Do that 50 times a year -- the only way to calculate an annual return -- and you net $24 a share; a return of 44%, not the little dividend under 4%. If you don’t get called out, you still net around $25 per 100 shares or $1,250 per year, a return of 25% or so . . . plus the little dividend of just under 4%.


If weeklies are not your thing --  the commissions, the one minute a week you have to spend executing the trade; minutes are precious, right? -- you can do this with monthlies. Buy the shares and sell a June $55; you get called out and boom, you net $1.97 per share. That is a 3.7% return in a little more than two months, an annualized return of 29%. Even if you do not get called out, you have an annualized return of 11%, plus that dividend of 3.8%.


The typical options trader prays for a 100% return -- because that is what all the expensive books tell them they should shoot for. How many options traders can consistently generate profits that end up being 100%, on an annualized basis?


On the other hand, consider the options seller owning an income stock that is appreciating and generating between 15% and 48% a year, depending on the market and how busy they want to be. That is something I can relate to.


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