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TERRY’S TIPS STOCK OPTIONS TRADING BLOG

August 8, 2022

Storage-device maker Western Digital (WDC) reported earnings on Friday that topped estimates on both the top and bottom lines. However, both measures fell short of the year-ago figures. More importantly, the company issued dismal guidance, blaming softer consumer spending and inventory corrections. Q1 revenue is now expected in the $3.6-3.8 billion range, far below the $4.74 billion consensus estimate. Earnings per share looks even worse, with an expected range of $0.35-0.65 compared to the $1.96 consensus.

Oddly, there were no target price changes for the stock on Friday. However, given that analysts are strongly bullish toward WDC and have a median target price of $65 (38% above Friday’s close), the weak guidance is sure to bring some price cuts, if not outright downgrades.

The stock reacted appropriately after the news, falling nearly 10% before closing 5% lower. This put an abrupt halt to WDC’s monthlong rally that saw the stock gain 20%. The 50-day moving average also marked a top to the uptrend. Friday’s fall also pulled the shares below their 20-day moving average, a trendline that has guided the past three weeks of the rally. Note that the short call strike of our credit spread sits on the 50-day, which will move below the 50 level this week. Thus, the stock will have to pierce both the 50-day (blue line) and 20-day (red line) moving averages to move the spread into the money.

If you agree that WDC’s rally is over, consider the following trade that relies on the stock staying below $50 (green line) through expiration in six weeks:

Buy to Open the WDC 16Sep 52.5 call (WDC220916C52.5)
Sell to Open the WDC 16Sep 50 call (WDC220916C50) for a credit of $0.60 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.04 less than the mid-point price of the spread at Friday’s $47.09 close. Unless WDC drops quickly, you should be able to get close to that price.

The commission on this trade should be no more than $1.30 per spread. Each spread would then yield $58.70. This trade reduces your buying power by $250, making your net investment $191.30 per spread ($250 – $58.70). If WDC closes below $50 on September 16, both options will expire worthless and your return on the spread would be 31% ($58.70/$191.30). 

August 3, 2022

Zurich-based Chubb Limited (CB) is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company. CB reported earnings this week that topped estimates. But the market wasn’t sure how to react, as analysts offered a mix of target price increases and decreases.  What’s clear, however, is that analysts are overwhelmingly bullish toward CB, as 84% give the stock a buy or better rating. Perhaps this is due to the “conventional” wisdom that insurance companies benefit from rising interest rates.

But analysts would be well advised to check out CB’s chart. Despite the solid earnings numbers, the stock ended the week flat. Moreover, it failed to break out of a four-month downtrend that has seen the stock drop 14%. This slide has been guided by the 20-day moving average (blue line in chart), which hasn’t allowed a daily close above it since early June. Above that lies the 50-day moving average (red line), which has yet to be tested. It sits at the $196 level, just a point above the short strike of our call credit spread. At its current slope, it will fall below this strike in the coming week. Thus, the stock will have to pierce two points of resistance to move into the money.

If you agree that the 20-day moving average will continue guiding CB lower, consider the following trade that relies on the stock staying below $195 (green line) through expiration in seven weeks:

Buy to Open the CB 16Sep 200 call (CB220916C200)
Sell to Open the CB 16Sep 195 call (CB220916C195) for a credit of $1.40 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.02 less than the mid-point price of the spread at Friday’s $188.64 close. Unless CB drops quickly, you should be able to get close to that price.

The commission on this trade should be no more than $1.30 per spread. Each spread would then yield $138.70. This trade reduces your buying power by $500, making your net investment $361.30 per spread ($500 – $138.70). If CB closes below $195 on September 16, both options will expire worthless and your return on the spread would be 38% ($138.70/$361.30).  

July 26, 2022

28 July 2022

Go With the Pro

Prologis (PLD) is a real estate logistics company, leasing properties to businesses in 19 countries. The company reported earnings on Monday before the open that beat profit and revenue estimates. PLD also raised guidance for FY22. There were no upgrades or downgrades on the news, but a few target prices were lowered. This is normal these days as analysts are lowering targets across the board to keep up with the bear market. Despite a few reductions, the overall target is $161, 27% above Friday’s close.

The stock reacted with a 1.5% drop on Monday after reporting but recovered to close the week with a 4% gain. More importantly, the shares bounced off the support of the 20-day moving average, a trendline that is now pointing higher for the first time since April. That was just as PLD was embarking on a 40% slide that took less than two months. But the stock has gained 19% off its June 13 bottom to close at its highest point in more than five weeks.

This trade is based on PLD continuing its recent uptrend, buoyed by the support of its rising 20-day moving average. Note that the short strike of our put spread is below the 20-day, meaning the stock will have to pierce this support to move the spread into the money.

If you agree that the 20-day moving average (blue line) will continue guiding PLD higher, consider the following trade that relies on the stock staying above $120 (red line) through expiration in eight weeks:

Buy to Open the PLD 16Sep 115 put (PLD220916P115)
Sell to Open the PLD 16Sep 120 put (PLD220916P120) for a credit of $1.10 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.05 less than the mid-point price of the spread at Friday’s $126.90 close. Unless PLD increases quickly, you should be able to get close to that price.

The commission on this trade should be no more than $1.30 per spread. Each spread would then yield $108.70. This trade reduces your buying power by $500, making your net investment $391.30 per spread ($500 – $108.70). If PLD closes above $120 on September 16, both options will expire worthless and your return on the spread would be 28% ($108.70/$391.30). 

Any questions?  Email Terry@terrystips.com

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