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1. Describing an out-of-the-money stock option. That is, it describes an option in which the underlying asset is a stock that is currently trading for less than the strike price of the option. For example, an executive at a publicly-traded company may have stock options in which he may buy the stock of his/her own company for $80 per share. If the stock is currently trading at $60 per share, the options are worthless.

2. Insolvent; unable to meet a financial obligation. The term especially applies to being unable to meet a margin call.


Of or relating to a stock option for which the option exercise price is higher than the market price of the stock.


You're underwater when your employee stock options are out-of-the-money and so currently worthless.

For example, if you have options to buy your company stock at a strike price of $50, and the stock is currently trading at $30, you're $20 underwater on each option. You can see how the next step may be drowning -- financially speaking, of course.

The term underwater is also used to describe situations where the principals are unable to meet their financial obligations.

For example, if an investor is unable to meet margin calls on a margin account that has lost a considerable amount of money, the account is said to be underwater. Similarly a firm that is having financial difficulty is described as underwater.


A popular expression for a property with a debt larger than its value.You will sometimes encounter prime properties for lease,rather than for sale,because the property is underwater. The owners cannot afford to sell,because a sale at market value would require them to bring cash to the closing table to pay off the debt.

References in periodicals archive ?
But their least-known attribute might be the most valuable of all: They operate as underwater architects, transforming the seascape for myriad other forms of underwater life, rather than just residing there.
But Simon gets under the water and captures remarkable footage of the rich underwater life - the common seal, starfish, dead men's fingers and moon jellyfish.
Scuba-divers from the diving center Amfora have been preparing a DVD with Lake Ohrid underwater life over the past ten years.
But, trust me, the show on BBC2 next Wednesday boasts fab shots of underwater life.
Her work celebrates the beauty and variety of underwater life.
This system, named HoloMar (Holographic Marine Recording) provided useful 3D images of underwater life on photographic plates.
The TV screens showing underwater life didn't work for me either.
Polarized sunglasses, by the way, are best for seeing through the glare and observing underwater life.
Also opening on September 30, is "Beavers," a look at the underwater life of engineering beavers.
My first graders were studying underwater life so we were making stuffed paper sculpture fish to hang from the classroom ceiling.
He tells himself a long-term relationship is out of the question because his big career dream is to move to Alaska to study the underwater life of the walrus.

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