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Archive for the ‘Stock Options Strategies’ Category

Align Technologies Consolidates In a Range, Is It Ready To Break Higher?

Sunday, May 6th, 2018

This week we are looking at another of the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List companies.  We use this list in one of our options portfolios to spot outperforming stocks and place option spreads that take advantage of the momentum.

Terry

Align Technologies Consolidates In a Range, Is It Ready To Break Higher?

Align Technology posted a strong performance last year.  Not only did it outperform its sector, it was also ranked the top-performing stock in the S&P 500 for 2017.  The following articles outline the details – 3 Growth Stocks I’m Holding Onto No Matter How Bumpy the Market Gets and Is Align Technology (ALGN) Outperforming Other Medical Stocks This Year?

From a technical perspective, ALGN has been mostly consolidating within a range over the last few months.  Ahead of the recent earning’s call, the stock briefly dipped below range support at $243 but it managed to regain it following the earnings report.  Current prices offer an opportunity to buy the stock near the lower bound of the consolidation.  There is some potential for an upside break, in line with the broader trend.  The rationale being that a quite few of the stocks listed in the IBD Top 50 list have shown strength in the past week and some have even broken to fresh highs.  This signals some potential that the bullish trend may have resumed in the markets.

ALGN Chart May 2018 - vertical put spread

ALGN Chart May 2018 – Free Trade

*source Tradingview.com

If you agree there’s further upside ahead for ALGN, consider this trade which is a bet that the stock will continue to advance over the next five weeks, or at least not decline very much.

Buy To Open ALGN 08JUN18 255 Puts (ALGN180608P255)
Sell To Open ALGN 08JUN18 257.5 Puts (ALGN180608P257.5) for a credit of $1.13 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when ALGN was trading near $259.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will only be $2.50 per spread (the rate charged by thinkorswim for Terry’s Tips’ subscribers).  Each contract would then yield $110.50 and your broker would charge a $250.00 maintenance fee, making your investment $139.50 ($250 – $110.50).  If ALGN closes at any price above $257.50 on June 8, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 79% (904% annualized).

Changes to Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 This Week:

We have found that the Investor’s Business Daily Top 50 List has been a reliable source of stocks that are likely to move higher in the short run.  Recent additions to the list might be particularly good choices for this strategy, and deletions might be good indicators for exiting a position that you might already have on that stock.

As with all investments, you should only make option trades with money that you can truly afford to lose.

Happy trading,

Terry

Netflix(NFLX) Pulls Back After Earnings, Is It a Buy?

Monday, April 30th, 2018

This week we are looking at another of the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List companies.  We use this list in one of our options portfolios to spot outperforming stocks and place option spreads that take advantage of the momentum.

Terry

Netflix(NFLX) Pulls Back After Earnings, Is It a Buy?

Recent hikes in the price target for Netflix stock among analysts suggest there is further upside.  Stifel Nicolaus has raised their target from $345 from $325 and Raymond James increased targets from $290 to $330.

NFLX has pulled back since its earnings report but price action over the past few days suggest some exhaustion as a doji candlestick pattern has printed and the stock price has edged higher since.  This pattern was established at the 50-day moving average which remains a key indicator to the downside.  Further support is seen slightly below it in the form of a rising trendline.

NFLX Chart April 2018

NFLX Chart April 2018

*source Tradingview.com

If you agree there’s further upside ahead for NFLX, consider this trade which is a bet that the stock will continue to advance over the next five weeks, or at least not decline very much.

Buy To Open NFLX 01JUN18 307.5 Puts (NFLX180601P307.5)
Sell To Open NFLX 01JUN18 310 Puts (NFLX180601P310) for a credit of $1.08 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when NFLX was trading near $312.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will only be $2.50 per spread (the rate charged by thinkorswim for Terry’s Tips’ subscribers).  Each contract would then yield $105.50 and your broker would charge a $250 maintenance fee, making your investment $144.50 ($250 – $105.50).  If NFLX closes at any price above $310.00 on June 1, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 73% (833% annualized).

Changes to Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 This Week:

IBD Underlying Updates April 26, 201

IBD Underlying Updates April 26, 201

We have found that the Investor’s Business Daily Top 50 List has been a reliable source of stocks that are likely to move higher in the short run.  Recent additions to the list might be particularly good choices for this strategy, and deletions might be good indicators for exiting a position that you might already have on that stock.

As with all investments, you should only make option trades with money that you can truly afford to lose.

Happy trading,

Terry

Diagonal Condor Earnings Strategy Update #5 – Mastercard (MA)

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

When using the Diagonal Condor Earnings Strategy, one of the things we like to find is a stock about to announce earnings where the options have priced in a post-announcement price fluctuation which is greater than the historical average of the post-announcement changes for that company.

Our goal is to create two diagonal spreads at a credit (or slight debit) which allow for a profit to be made if the post-announcement fluctuation is within the historical average amount.  In the past few weeks, we have placed spreads that met these criteria on several companies, including Carmax (KMX), TD Ameritrade (AMTD), and Red Hat (RHT), and these plays were all profitable, with returns from 30% to over 70% including commissions in a single week.

This week, we are looking forward to taking a position in Mastercard (MA) which announces earnings before the market opens on May 2.  The 4May18 options have priced a 3.8% post-announcement price change while the average change for the last eight quarters has been only 1.1% (about $2 when the stock is trading about $175).

Here are the trades we made this week using the Diagonal Condor Earnings Strategy that is outlined here in case you missed it earlier. Here are the spreads we will place just prior to May 2 (prices as they exist now):

Buy To Open MA 1Jun18 170 puts (MA180601P170)
Sell To Open MA 4May18 175 puts (MA180504P175) for a credit of $.25 (buying a diagonal)

Buy To Open MA 1Jun18 182.5 calls (MA180601C182.5)
Sell To Open MA 4May18 177.5 calls (MA180504C177.5) for a credit of $.17 (buying a diagonal)

After paying a commission of $2.50 per spread at the commission rate charged to Terry’s Tips subscribers at thinkorswim, each pair of spreads will incur a maintenance requirement of $500 less the $42 plus the $5 commission, making it an investment of $463 (the maximum theoretical loss).  One of the spreads is guaranteed to make a gain no matter what the stock might do after the announcement.

Here is the risk profile graph for the above spreads, assuming that implied volatility (IV) of the 1Jun18 option series will fall by 3, from 28 to 25 after the announcement.  This compares to the current IV of the 4May18 series which carries an IV of 35.

MA Risk Profile Graph April 2018

MA Risk Profile Graph April 2018

The break-even range for these positions goes from about $170 to $183.  If the price ends up at any price within this range, there should be a profit.  Historically, the stock has fluctuated by an average of about $2, which would place it between $173 and $177.

If the historical fluctuation continues, these positions could deliver 60% or more on investment for a single week of waiting it out.

If the stock fluctuates more than we expect (and finishes outside of the break-even range), we would roll over the expiring options before they expire on May 4 and sell new weekly out-of-the-money options for the 11May18 series, and continue doing so until we took in sufficient new premium to make the entire experience a profitable one.  We would have five weekly opportunities to accomplish this.  Of course, nothing is guaranteed, but weekly fluctuations tend to be much more moderate once the earnings week has passed, and that is the kind of market where this kind of diagonal or calendar spreads do their best.

If the stock fluctuates more than $2.50 from the $166.36 price when we placed the spreads, you might want to adjust the strike prices by $2.50 in the same direction.

Final note: MA has been a good underlying for Terry’s Tips.  In 2017, one of our actual portfolios traded MA options, and the portfolio gained 152% for the year. You can get a full (and free) report on how this worked out by requesting it below.

Micron Technology (MU) Retreats – Can it Hold Above the Psychological $50 Handle?

Monday, April 23rd, 2018

This week we are looking at another of the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List companies.  We use this list in one of our options portfolios to spot outperforming stocks and place option spreads that take advantage of the momentum.

Terry

Micron Technology (MU) Retreats – Can it Hold Above the Psychological $50 Handle?

Micron Technology has posted an impressive gain in the early year and several analysts are expecting more upside.  The following two articles provide the details behind this view – 3 Stocks That Could Double Your Money and Bull of the Day: Micron (MU).

MU has declined as of late and is now seen trading near an overwhelming confluence of support.  A rising trendline is in play that originates from this year’s low, and near it, the $50 price point comes into play.  The stock briefly traded below the psychological handle earlier this month but buyers quickly stepped in to lift it back above the horizontal level.  As well, the 20 and 50-day moving averages have converged close to the rising trendline.

Micron (MU) Chart April 2018

MU(micron) Chart April 2018

*source Tradingview.com

If you agree there’s further upside ahead for MU, consider this trade which is a bet that the stock will continue to advance over the next four weeks, or at least not decline very much.

Buy To Open MU 18MAY18 48 Puts (MU180518P48)
Sell To Open MU 18MAY18 50 Puts (MU180518P50) for a credit of $0.68 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when MU was trading near $50.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will only be $2.50 per spread (the rate charged by thinkorswim for Terry’s Tips’ subscribers).  Each contract would then yield $65.50 and your broker would charge a $200 maintenance fee, making your investment $134.50 ($200 – $65.50).  If MU closes at any price above $50.00 on May 18, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 49% (658% annualized).

Changes to Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 This Week:

IBD Underlying Updates April 19, 2018 additions deletions

IBD Underlying Updates April 19, 2018

We have found that the Investor’s Business Daily Top 50 List has been a reliable source of stocks that are likely to move higher in the short run.  Recent additions to the list might be particularly good choices for this strategy, and deletions might be good indicators for exiting a position that you might already have on that stock.

As with all investments, you should only make option trades with money that you can truly afford to lose.

Happy trading,

Terry

Facebook (FB) Play – Diagonal Condor Earnings Strategy

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

Here is the link to the Seeking Alpha article on FB: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4164510-expect-facebook-earnings-announcement

This article explains our thinking behind the trades we suggested for the upcoming Facebook’s earnings announcement taking place next week.  See full recommendation below. 

Facebook (FB) announces earnings after the close on April 24, 2018.  I have submitted an article to Seeking Alpha outlining the reasons I believe that the stock will trade higher (or at least, not lower) after the announcement compared to its current level. If they accept my article for publication, I will send you the link.  If they don’t accept it in a timely basis, I will send it along to you.

Here are the trades we made this week in accordance with this positive post-announcement outlook using the Diagonal Condor Earnings Strategy that is outlined here in case you missed it earlier.  Note that one of the diagonals is being placed at a slight debit, a small deviation from the strategy.  This should not be a problem because the 1Jun18 options are considerably higher than this debit, and will surely hold up enough so that one of the two spreads is guaranteed to be a serious gainer.

BTO 1 FB 1Jun18 160 put (FB180601P160)
STO 1 FB 27Apr18 165 put (FB180427P165) for a credit of $.25 (buying a diagonal)

BTO 1 FB 1Jun18 177.5 call (FB180601C177.5)
STO 1 FB 27Apr18 172.5 call (FB180427C172.5) for a debit of $.28 (buying a diagonal)

IV of the 27Apr18 options is 47 compared to 31 for the 1Jun18 series (this huge difference is what makes this play so potentially profitable).

Here is the risk profile graph for these spreads assuming that IV for the 1Jun18 series will fall from 31 to 26 after the announcement.  I think there is a fair chance that it will not fall that far, and the results could be even better than what is indicated below:

Facebook Risk Profile Graph April 2018

Facebook Risk Profile Graph April 2018

These spreads require a maintenance requirement of just over $500 per pair of spreads.  One of them is guaranteed to make a gain no matter what the stock price does.

For the past 8 quarters, FB’s post-announcement fluctuation has averaged 3%.  This graph shows that a profit should result if the stock fluctuates less than $5 (about 3%) in either direction.  The potential gains are over 60% for a one-week play if the stock fluctuates less than $5 (and ends up at any price between $165 and $173).

If the stock fluctuates more than $2.50 from the $166.36 price when we placed the spreads, you might want to adjust the strike prices by $2.50 in the same direction.

As with all investments, you should only make option trades with money that you can truly afford to lose.

Happy trading,

Terry

Adobe Systems (ADBE): A Stable and Consistent Player

Monday, April 16th, 2018

This week we are looking at another of the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List companies.  We use this list in one of our options portfolios to spot outperforming stocks and place option spreads that take advantage of the momentum.

Terry

Adobe Systems (ADBE): A Stable and Consistent Player

The following two articles suggest ADBE offers good value at current prices – Is Advanced Micro Devices Stock Undervalued? and AMD Stock’s Fall Has a Silver Lining for Value Investors.

From a technical perspective, the recent decline in Adobe’s stock price resembles a consolidation more than correction, which suggests some underlying strength.  This is especially important considering the heightened volatility in the equity markets as of late.  Price action in ADBE over the last month or so has not altered the bullish technical outlook as the buyers protected support near the 50-day moving average at $212.  Once again, this is significant and supports the view of strength in Adobe’s stock price as several stocks, including those on the IBD Top 50 list, have broken below notable support either in the form of a relevant moving average or a horizontal level.

ADBE Chart April 2018

ADBE Chart April 2018

*source Tradingview.com

If you agree there’s further upside ahead for ADBE, consider this trade which is a bet that the stock will continue to advance over the next four weeks, or at least not decline very much.

Buy To Open ADBE 25MAY18 220 Puts (ADBE180525P220)
Sell To Open ADBE 25MAY18 222.5 Puts (ADBE180525P222.5) for a credit of $0.80 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when ADBE was trading near $224.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will only be $2.50 per spread.  Each contract would then yield $77.50 and your broker would charge a $250 maintenance fee, making your investment $172.50 ($250 – $77.50).  If ADBE closes at any price above $222.50 on May 25, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 45% (360% annualized).

Changes to Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 This Week:

We have found that the Investor’s Business Daily Top 50 List has been a reliable source of stocks that are likely to move higher in the short run.  Recent additions to the list might be particularly good choices for this strategy, and deletions might be good indicators for exiting a position that you might already have on that stock.

As with all investments, you should only make option trades with money that you can truly afford to lose.

Happy trading,

Terry

Diagonal Condor Earnings Strategy Update #3

Thursday, April 12th, 2018

This is our third suggestion on how to carry out the Diagonal Condor Earnings Strategy on companies which are about to announce earnings. The first two suggestions (RHT and KMX) resulted in 40% gains in a single week when the stock fluctuated only moderately after the announcement.  One of these times, the stock is likely to fluctuate more than we would like, and we will be able to put the second part of the strategy to work.  This will involve selling out-of-the-money weekly puts and calls over the next few weeks until the initial trade turns into a net gain.

This week’s choice is TDAmeritrade (AMTD) which announces before the market opens on Tuesday, April 24, 2018.  Implied volatility (IV) of the 27Apr18 options has not escalated at this point – it is 32.5, barely higher than a six-week-out 25May18 series (31).  We expect IV for the 27Apr18 series to move much higher over the next 10 days, and we hope to take advantage of higher option prices as well as a possibly higher stock price before the announcement date.

Here are the trades we made this week.  Note that the diagonals were set up at a small debit rather than the credit that we seek with this strategy, but when we roll over the 20Apr17 puts and calls to the next weekly series, we expect to create solid credits, especially if IV for those options moves higher as we expect.

BTO 1 AMTD 25May18 57 put (AMTD180525P57)
STO 1 AMTD 20Apr18 60 put (AMTD180420P60) for a debit of $.11  (buying a diagonal)

BTO 1 AMTD 25May18 64 call (AMTD180525C64)
STO 1 AMTD 20Apr18 61 call (AMTD18042061) for a debit of $.28  (buying a diagonal)

Once we roll over these options to the 27Apr17, we expect our net investment will be about $250 per set of spreads ($300 maintenance requirement less $50 net credit).  Here is the risk profile graph for those spreads after the roll has been made:

AMAT Risk Profile Graph April 2018

AMAT Risk Profile Graph April 2018

For the past 8 quarters, the post-announcement fluctuation has averaged 1.75%.  This graph shows that a profit should result if the stock fluctuates less than 5% in either direction.  The potential gains may not appear to be significant, but there seems to be a fair chance to make 20% on the investment for a single week of waiting.

Consider Applied Materials (AMAT) Following a Pullback To Support

Monday, April 9th, 2018

A quick update on our two latest suggestions using the Diagonal Condor Earnings Strategy – both Redhat (RHT) and Carmax (KMX) spreads could have been closed out on the Friday after earnings were announced for a 49%+ gain for the week.

This week we are looking at another of the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List companies.  We use this list in one of our options portfolios to spot outperforming stocks and place option spreads that take advantage of the momentum.

Terry

Consider Applied Materials (AMAT) Following a Pullback To Support

Several articles have recently been published that outline the potential for growth in Applied Materials stock price, here are two of them – Is Applied Materials a Strong Growth Stock? and Have Sufficient Potential Left To Grow? Applied Materials, Inc.

AMAT has been correcting lower over the past four weeks and is now seen near a confluence of support.  The stock shows support at $51.73 from a 61.8% Fibonacci retracement measured from this year’s low to high.  As well, the 200-day moving average is found slightly below the Fibonacci retracement.

*source Tradingview.com

If you agree there’s further upside ahead for Applied Materials, consider this trade which is a bet that the stock will continue to advance over the next six weeks, at least a little bit.

If you agree there’s further upside ahead for Applied Materials, consider this trade which is a bet that the stock will continue to advance over the next five weeks, at least a little bit. AMAT will announce earnings in the week following the 11May18 series, and we usually see higher stock prices going into expiration week, so this might be a good trade for other reasons as well.

Buy To Open AMAT 11MAY18 49 Puts (AMAT180511P49)
Sell To Open AMAT 11MAY18 52 Puts (AMAT180511P52) for a credit of $1.08 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when AMAT was trading near $52.50.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount

Your commission on this trade will only be $2.50 per spread (the rate charged by thinkorswim for Terry’s Tips’ subscribers).  Each contract would then yield $105.50 and your broker would charge a $300 maintenance fee, making your investment $194.50 ($300 – $105.50).  If AMAT closes at any price above $52 on May 11, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 54% (550% annualized).

Changes to Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 This Week:

We have found that the Investor’s Business Daily Top 50 List has been a reliable source of stocks that are likely to move higher in the short run.  Recent additions to the list might be particularly good choices for this strategy, and deletions might be good indicators for exiting a position that you might already have on that stock.

As with all investments, you should only make option trades with money that you can truly afford to lose.

Happy trading,

Terry

LRCX Diagonal Condor Earnings Play

Thursday, April 5th, 2018

This is a possible option play using the Diagonal Condor Earnings Strategy that we recently sent you details about.

Lam Research (LRCX) announces earnings after the close on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. The stock has been on a downtrend for the past several weeks, a good indication that expectations are seriously lowered.  We have seen many instances when lowered expectations have resulted in a higher post-announcement date regardless of how well or poorly the actual results were compared to estimates. If you agree with this prognosis, you might consider making these trades (when the stock is trading about $196):

Buy To Open # LRCX 18May18 180 puts (LRCX180518P180)
Sell To Open # LRCX 20Apr18 195 puts (LRCX180420P195) for a credit of $2.20  (buying a diagonal)

Buy To Open # LRCX 18May18 220 calls (LRCX180518C220)
Sell Open # LRCX 20Apr18 205 calls (LRCX180420C205) for a debit of $.30  (buying a diagonal)

This is the risk profile graph for the options which expire on Friday, April 20, 2018 at a time when LRCX was trading about $196 and assuming the implied volatility of the May 25 options will fall from their current 43 to 38 after the earnings announcement on April 17th:

LRCX Risk Profile Earnings Graph April 2018

LRCX Risk Profile Earnings Graph April 2018

The two spreads will involve an investment of about $1400 per pair of spreads.  The maintenance requirement is $1500 and there is a net credit of about $100 after commissions.  If the stock were to end up at any price between $195 and $205, the graph shows that a gain of about 50% on investment would come our way.

The break-even range extends from about a 5% drop to an 8% rise.  This is well within the 4.9% average fluctuation that LRCX has made over the past 8 quarterly announcements.

Since there is a net credit from selling the two spreads, one of the spreads essentially is guaranteed to make a profit.  If the stock were to end up at any price between $195 and $205, both April 20 short options would expire worthless and the May 18 options would still have significant residual value.

If the stock were to fluctuate so much that it ended up outside the $195 – $205 range, the expiring April 20 options could be rolled over to out-of-the-money options in the April 27 series, likely at a credit.  There would be 5 additional weeks where short-term premium might be collected so that the original spreads might ultimately prove to be profitable even though it did not work out as expected in the announcement week.

As with all investments, you should only make option trades with money that you can truly afford to lose.

Happy trading,

Terry

 

A Carmax Spread Trade to Put the Diagonal Condor Earnings Strategy to Work

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

A Carmax Spread Trade to Put the Diagonal Condor Earnings Strategy to Work:

Carmax (KMX) announces earnings before the market opens on Wednesday, April 4, 2018.  If anyone would like to place the spread trade that we suggest below, the order must be placed no later than the market close on Tuesday, April 3rd.

Here are the numbers we compiled for KMX for the last eight quarters:

The prices in green are lower than the last pre-announcement price, suggesting that expectations are rising.  Most companies we tested show much many more green numbers than KNX.  Most of the time, KMX showed a high correlation between the actual results and what the stock price did after the announcement (while one might expect this would be universally true, our back-testing and personal experience has proved otherwise).  While the direction of the change for KMX was highly consistent (beating estimates resulted in a higher stock price, and vice versa), the magnitude of the change was not consistent.

In the June 2017 announcement, earnings were a whopping 23% above estimates, but the stock only gained 4% after they became public. In the next quarter, September 2017, earnings exceeded estimates by only 3% while the stock gained 10%.

KMX does not seem consistently beat or fall behind estimates.  This is a different pattern than we see in many companies who low-ball guidance, and then exceed estimates by a large amount quarter after quarter.  KMX does not seem to do this.

The average post-announcement stock price change for KMX was 4.9%.  This is less than the current option prices which have priced in a likely 5.7% change.  Someone who likes the stock might take advantage of the higher option prices and write an out-of-the-money call against their stock, and collect some nice premium in addition to some price appreciation if the stock manages to move higher.

We do not have a strong feeling concerning which way we feel the stock is headed after next week’s announcement other than that we think it will probably go in the same direction as the actual results compared to estimates. Since there is no clear pattern of how well the company does compared to estimates, this leaves us with a neutral position on the direction the stock might take after the announcement.

We have developed what we call the Diagonal Condor Earnings Strategy as our preferred options play prior to announcements.

Based on our neutral outlook on KMX, these are the spreads we placed for the upcoming announcement:

Buy to Open KMX 11May18 58 puts (KMX180511P58)
Sell to Open KMX 06Apr18 61 puts (KMX180406P61) for a credit of $.08  (buying a diagonal)

Buy to Open KMX 11May18 67 calls (KMX180511C67)
Sell to Open KMX 06Apr18 64 calls (KMX180406C64) for a credit of $.08 (buying a diagonal)

The net maintenance requirement (investment) on these spreads is $294 per pair ($300 – $16 plus $10 commission), and we have a net credit of $6 per pair in the account.

This is what the risk profile graph looks like after the market close on April 6, assuming that implied volatility (IV) of the May options falls by 3, from the current 33 to 30 (which is consistent with prior earnings week IV drops for 5-week-out options).

With KMX currently trading just below $62, the graph shows that we should end up with a gain if the stock ends up at any price between $59 and $67 on Friday, April 6th.  The sweet spot of the graph shows an approximate gain of $200 (about 66%) if the price ends up between $61 and $64.

If the stock fluctuates by its average post-announcement amount (4.9%), it would end up somewhere between about $59 and $65. In six of the last eight quarters, the fluctuation would have landed somewhere inside of this range, and in two of the quarters, it would not have.

To summarize our thinking, based on the level of IV for the options prior to the announcement (67) compared to IV for further-out options (33), investors do not get unduly excited about earnings announcements from KMX. The stock generally fluctuates after the announcement in the same direction as the results compared to estimates.  The company does not show a pattern of either consistently beating or falling behind estimates.  We believe this pattern is a perfect candidate for the options play outlined above which is essentially a neutral outlook, neither particularly bullish or bearish, but does best if the stock only fluctuates moderately after the announcement.

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