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EBay Options Volume Up Ahead Of Earnings

Posted on the 18 April 2012 by Phil's Stock World @philstockworld

Today’s tickers: EBAY, IR & PLD

EBAY - eBay, Inc. – Options on eBay, Inc. are active today as traders await the Company’s first-quarter earnings report due out after final bell. Shares in the provider of secure online payment services and online marketplaces are off slightly, trading 0.15% lower on the session at $36.03, as of 12:20 p.m. in New York. Signs some traders are prepping for a potential post-earnings report pullback in the price of eBay’s shares cropped up roughly 15 minutes into the trading day. Put volume at the May $34 strike exceeds 8,000 contracts versus just 322 previously existing positions, with most of the puts having been purchased this morning for an average premium of $0.78 apiece. Put buyers may be taking an outright bearish stance on the stock, or could be hedging long positions in the shares prior to the earnings release. Traders buying put options outright profit at expiration if EBAY shares drop 7.8% to breach the average breakeven price of $33.22. Overall options volume on the stock is approaching 45,000 contracts in early-afternoon trade, which is roughly 2.5 times EBAY’s 90-day average options volume read at 17,320. Call options are more active than puts at present, with around 1.25 call options trading for each single put option in play.

IR - Ingersoll-Rand PLC – Options volume on the provider of industrial and security technologies and products is up sharply today, with some 9,500 contracts in play this afternoon versus the stock’s 90 day average volume of 958 contracts. The bulk of the trading traffic is in the front month calls ahead of the Company’s first-quarter earnings report on Friday morning. Shares in Ingersoll-Rand are currently up 0.60% at $40.31 as of 12:45 p.m. ET. April $41 strike calls are seeing the heaviest volume, with more than 7,200 contracts trading against 1,614 open positions. It looks like the majority of the calls were purchased at an average premium of $0.40 each. Call buyers stand ready to profit at expiration in a couple of days should IR’s shares rally at least 2.7% to top the average breakeven price of $41.40.

PLD - Prologis, Inc. – A three-legged options combination trade initiated on Prologis this morning appears to be a near-term bearish bet that shares in the name will come under pressure during the next four weeks to expiration. The spread could be profitable if shares in Prologis sell off after the Company’s first-quarter earnings report on May 1st. Shares in the owner, operator and developer of industrial real estate are down 1.2% to stand at $34.26 as of 12:00 p.m. in New York. It looks like the strategist responsible for the single-largest transaction in PLD options today sold 1,000 calls at the May $37 strike in order to partially offset the cost of buying the May $31/$34 put spread, all done for a net premium outlay of $0.55 per contract. Profits are available on the spread in the event that Prologis shares decline 2.4% to breach the effective breakeven price of $33.45, while maximum potential profits of $2.45 per contract amass on the downside as long as shares drop 9.5% to settle below $31.00 by expiration next month. Shares in PLD last traded below $31.00 in mid-January.


Caitlin Duffy
Equity Options Analyst

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