Strike Price

Written By
Paul Tracy
Updated August 5, 2020

What is a Strike Price?

The strike price is the specified price at which an option contract can be exercised.

How Strike Prices Work

Strike prices are fixed in the option contract. For call options, the option holder has the right to purchase the underlying stock at that strike price up to the expiration date. For put options, the strike price is the price at which the underlying stock can be sold. 

For example, an investor purchases a call option contract on shares of ABC Company at a $5 strike price. Over the life of the option contract, the holder has the right to exercise the option and purchase 100 shares of ABC for $500. If the price of ABC shares rises to $10, the option holder can lock in a $500 profit by exercising the option because it allows him to buy shares at $5 and sell them for $10 in the open market.

Why Strike Prices Matter

The strike price is one of the most important elements of options pricing. At the expiration date, the difference between the stock's market price and the option's strike price represents the amount of profit gained by exercising the option.