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Archive for the ‘Earnings’ Category

Pep Boys Plummets on Another Earnings Miss

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

12:05pm (EST) 

There were a number of earnings option trades we profiled in our Weekly Wrap Earnings section and Daily Watch List for this week.  With earnings season just getting into second gear, there will be a bevy of opportunities for quick trades that could return 100% or more on stocks that move 5%-10%.

The two trades we profiled for today were Pep Boys (PBY, $10.13, down $1.84) and Coca-Cola (KO, $40.19, up $1.46).  Both companies reported their numbers before this morning’s open and while we were unsure on Coca-Cola, we had a very good feeling Pep Boys would disappoint Wall Street.

The company reported a loss of 6 cents a share on revenue of $496 millio.  The suit-and-ties were looking for a profit of a nickel a share on sales of $534 million.

Here were our thoughts on Manny Moe & Jack:

Pep Boys-Manny Moe & Jack (PBY, $11.89, down $0.20)

May 10 puts (PBY140517P00010000, $0.30, flat)

Thoughts:  Shares could be headed to single-digits on another earnings miss.  The company has missed Wall Street’s estimates over the past 4 quarters by 1,2,1 and 9 cents last quarter.  This is a sign of bad management and with the rough winter they will likely kitchen sink their numbers.  Shares usually trade lower after the announcement and we like these put options.

The trade can be entered before Monday’s close

and if shares sink below $10 on Tuesday these puts should easily double.” (END)

We had a feeling shares might hit single-digits on another earnings miss but these options are thinly traded.  The open interest coming into today was only 10 contracts on the May 10 puts (PBY140517P00010000, $0.40, up $0.10).  They have traded over 300 contracts today but the bid/ ask was out of whack at 10 cents/ 30 cents when we looked at the trade ahead of yesterday’s close.

As option traders, we like to see the bid/ask at 5 cents or less with heavy open interest.  This makes it easier to get in and out of option trades without getting scalped.

As far as Coca-Cola, the company matched estimates for a profit of $0.44 a share with revenue coming in slightly higher.  Here were our thoughts on Big Red:

Coca-Cola (KO, $38.63, down $0.26)

May 39 calls (KO140517C00039000, $0.50, down $0.18)

May 38 puts (KO140517P00038000, $0.40, up $0.08)

Thoughts:  This is an important quarter for Coca-Cola and the options are relatively cheap.  We have listed a strangle option trade and while it would be hard to short the stock, shares could test $36 if they miss estimates.” (END)

The May 39 calls (KO140517C00039000, $1.30, up $0.80) were going for 50 cents ahead of. Monday’s close and are up over 150%.

The May 38 puts (KO140517P00038000, $0.10, down $0.30) are down 75%.

This would have been a nice double-digit winner as the calls and puts could have been purchased for 90 cents and at current levels the options together are going for $1.40.  This represents a return of 50+% and here is how the trade could be managed going forward.

The May 39 calls could be closed at current levels that would lock-in gains of nearly 50% even if the May 38 expire worthless.  They are only worth a dime so they could be left open for protection going into May.

If Coca-Cola slips back below $40 and then $38 by mid-May these options could rebound.  If shares are at $38.80 the puts would be worth 20 cents.  If shares are at $37 the options would be worth $1.

This would make the overall return on the original trade greater if shares do fall below $38.  It would be a no-brainer to leave the put options open while closing the calls.  If shares stay above $38 the options will expire worthless but the trade has already locked-in double-digit gains.

The beauty of strangle option trades is that this trade could return triple-digits without the risks of going short at current levels.

There are a number of other earnings trades we like for the week so stay locked-and-loaded.

As far as the market, the indexes got off to a good start but have weakened as we head into the second half of trading.

The Dow is down 26 points to 16,146 while the S&P 500 is lower by 2 points to 1,828.  The Nasdaq is off 39 points to 3,983 and the Russell 2000 is declining 10 points to 1,105.

It appears geopolitical tensions are heating up and is the cause for the pullback.  Once again, today’s close will be important.

Subscribers, hit the Members Area for the updates and stay close to your email inbox for possible additional Trade Alerts this afternoon.

Bulls Make a Stand

Monday, April 14th, 2014

12:55pm (EST)

The bulls needed some positive news ahead of the market open this morning as futures were trading lower throughout the night.  The chart work we did from the weekend showed the bulls had some breathing room to work with if there was a lower open but we discussed the importance of the market finishing higher today.

Dow futures were below 16,000 but turned around following better-than-expected earnings from Citigroup (C, $47.62, up $1.94) and higher-than expected Retail Sales which climbed to 1.1% in March.

We talked about the Financial stocks stalling at resistance and it remains to be seen if support holds or if they bounce from here.  Citigroup’s numbers were a surprise to Wall Street as the company reported a profit of $1.30 a share on revenue of $20.1 billion versus expectations for $1.14 a share on revenue of $19.4 billion.

Citigroup shares are up nearly 4% on the beat as the short sellers are covering.  Shares were a little over a buck away from the 52-week low of $44.52 coming into the report with some traders expecting a miss.

The Citigroup April 47.50 calls (C140419C00047500, $0.55, up $0.23) would have been a nice lottery trade ahead of Friday’s close.  The options have doubled on the news and have traded as high as 70 cents.

There are a number of other earnings trades we have listed for the week and there are a few we like.  With our current trades showing strong gains, we can afford to be a little aggressive.

As we make the turn, the Dow is up 150 points to 16,177 while the S&P 500 is gaining 17 points to 1,832.  The Nasdaq is higher by 41 points to 4,041 and the Russell 2000 is advancing 11 points to 1,122.

Subscribers, check the Members Area for the updates and stay close to your email inboxes as we could have New Trades coming for both our Daily and Weekly Wrap ahead of the close.

BBBY Takes a Bath/ Profit Alert (KOG)!!!

Thursday, April 10th, 2014 Midday Update for 4/10/2014

BBBY Takes a Bath/ Profit Alert (KOG)!!! 

12:20pm (EST)


Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY, $63.75, down $4.16) are down 6% today after the company posted weaker-than-expected earnings results and lowered its outlook for the current quarter.

Bed Bath & Beyond matched Wall Street’s $1.60 a share target but they missed on revenue of $3.2 billion versus expectations for $3.22 billion as same-store-sales rose just 1.7%.

For the current quarter, the company forecasted earnings of $0.92-$0.96 a share versus the suit-and-ties calls for $1.04 a share.

Here were our thoughts on a possible earnings trade from our Weekly Wrap (quotes from 4/4/14):

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY, $69.22, down $0.58)

April 72.50 calls (BBBY140519C00072500, $0.80, down $0.20)

April 67.50 puts (BBBY140419P00067500, $1.25, up $0.20)

Thoughts:  Shares could move 10% or more on earnings and the trend feels lower.” (END)

We should have expanded our research a little more as the one in “our town” was recently shut down.  The company has been a Wall Street darling for years but competition in the space has picked up, especially online.

We listed both calls as puts as a possible strangle option trade for protection in case the company might have matched or beat expectations.

The April 67.50 puts (BBBY140419P00067500, $3.50, up $1.90) were at $1.60 ahead of Wednesday’s close and are up over 120% on the drop below $65.

The April 72.50 calls (BBBY140519C00072500, $0.03, down $0.37) were at 40 cents going into yesterday’s close and are naturally getting crushed.

Together, these options could have been purchased for $2 and at current levels the trade would have made 75% had we pulled the trigger yesterday.

We often mention earnings trades can be fun and difficult to trade because there are numerous factors involved in determining if shares are going to rally or pull a Tom Petty (Breakdown).  However, this one may have been a Captain Obvious as Bed Bath & Beyond continues to struggle.

This week’s bigger earnings announcements come tomorrow as JPMorgan Chase (JPM, $58.49, down $0.78) and Wells Fargo (WFC, $48.54, down $0.56) are scheduled to release their results.

The bulls need a solid report from both to end the week on a strong note as their is weakness today.

We have done well navigating the choppy waters as we have 4 current trades at or near triple-digit gains.  We haven’t purchased too many put options this year (or last) but we wanted some protection last week.  The stock we picked was an old short favorite of ours and continues to break down like a rented mule so feel comfortable holding the position.

The other trades are bullish option positions on stocks at or near 52-week highs.  The knuckleheads that say it’s been a stock picker’s market have been correct as these stocks have stayed under Wall Street’s radar.

We have raised our stops and have made a few of them Hard Stops in case there is further weakness this afternoon but we are still expecting the bulls to push new highs this month, possibly as early as next week.

As we make the turn, the Dow is down 143 points to 16,293 while the S&P 500 is lower by 23 points to 1,848.  The Nasdaq is getting spanked for 98 points to 4,085 and the Russell 2000 is off a double-deuce (22 points) to 1,137.  The VIX is at 14.65, up 0.83.

Subscribers, check the Members Area for the current updates and stay close to your computer and mobile devices as we could have additional Trade Alerts into the close.  We could also have New Trades for our Weekly Wrap as well.


Apollo Education (APOL) Gets Subpoenaed/ Profit Alerts (QQQ, IWM)!!!

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

12:30pm (EST)

Shares of Apollo Education Group (APOL, $32.09, down $3.07) are down 9% today following mixed earnings.  The company reported a profit of $0.28 a share on revenue of $679 million versus expectations for $0.19 a share on revenue of $689 million.

The beat on earnings was due to some special-items but the miss on revenue was more significant.  Looking forward, Apollo is expecting full-year revenue for 2014 to come in at $3-$3.1 billion versus expectations in between these numbers.

The bigger news is that Apollo’s University of Phoenix subsidiary was served with a subpoena from the US Department of Education.

We have talked about Apollo’s skeletons in the closet and have always been bearish on the stock.  We specifically mentioned their “boiler room” tactics from years ago and we have said the Education stocks are in a bubble.  With student-debt approaching $1 trillion with a “T”, the sector is overvalued and we have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to go short some of the names in the game.

The zombies from the education department are looking into Apollo’s marketing, recruitment, enrollment and financial aid processing as part of their investigation.  Better late than never as we have been warning of the company’s shenanigans for years.

Here were our thoughts from our Earnings section from Sunday’s Weekly Wrap (quotes from 3/28/14):

Apollo Education Group (APOL, $32.85, up $0.45)

April 35 calls (APOL140419C00035, $1.15, up $0.18)

April 30 puts (APOL140419P00030000, $0.90, down $0.10)

Thoughts:  The stock we love to hate.  Shares often move 10% or more and while we are bearish on the stock, shares seem to hang above $30.  We have listed a possible strangle option trade but we will likely sit for this earnings session.” (END)

We looked at a possible earnings trade but we didn’t like the setup and shares have trended higher on recent earnings announcements.  With April options expiring in less than 3 weeks, the premiums were also expensive and overinflated.

The April 35 calls (APOL140419C00035, $0.15, down $1.92) closed north of $2 and had nearly doubled going into yesterday’s close but are down over 90% today.

Meanwhile , the April 30 puts (APOL140419P00030000, $0.35, down $0.05) are trading lower despite the stock’s nasty drop.

As you can see, the premiums in both the calls and puts have been deflated following the news.  We will keep Apollo on our Watch List as there will be a day when the opportunity will be there for us to go short.

As far as the market, the bulls are up but there has been some weakness.

The Dow is advancing 14 points to 16,546 while the S&P 500 is higher by 4 points to 1,889.  The Nasdaq is gaining 3 points to 4,271 and the Russell 2000 is up 2 points to 1,191.

We have a lot to cover inside our Members Area, including of first 2 Profit Alerts for the month.  We could have additional trades today for both our Daily and Weekly Wrap but we wanted to get this update out before getting into new positions.  Stay locked-and-loaded over the next hour or so as there is a good chance you hear from us again.  For now, let’s go ring the register.

S&P 500 Triggers Fresh High/ VIX Dips Below 13.50/ New Trade!!!

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

1:10pm (EST

The bulls are going for the hat trick today as they try to seal the deal on 3-straight winning sessions.  The S&P 500 has hit an all-time intraday peak of 1,884.60, we’re not fooling, and the VIX has dipped below 13.50.

Before we cover the indexes, we wanted to provide a quick update on a trade from our Weekly Wrap earnings section.

Shares of CalMaine Foods (CALM, $62.95, up $0.17) are trading slightly higher again today following Monday’s 9% surge and spike north of $64 on better-than-expected earnings.

The company reported a profit of $1.77 a share on revenue of $395 million.  Wall Street was looking for $1.41 a share on revenue of $360 million.  On the surface, this is a huge beat on the top and bottom lines.  Our research showed this possibility.

Here was the write-up from Sunday night’s Weekly Wrap (quotes from 3/28/14):

“CalMaine Foods (CALM, $57.51, up $0.60)

April 60 calls (CALM140419C00060000, $0.75, up $0.10)

April 55 puts (CALM140419P00055000, $0.65, down $0.10)

Thoughts:  The option chains only trade in $5 increments and this kept us out of a possible trade on Friday along with the bid/ ask widening.

In late December, the company beat estimates by 3 cents and revenue was $25 million above estimates.  Shares were at $60.37 but traded flat the following session, down 14 cents on 12/31/13.  The first day back in 2014, shares fell nearly $3 to close at $57.40 and were below $50 by the end of January.  Shares are right at December levels and there is a chance another move of $10, either way, comes by the end of April.

The 52-week peak is north of $60 and a break above this level will likely lead to some fluff to $65 on a blue-sky breakout.  However, if the company disappoints, shares could easily fall below $55 and test $50.  The late January and early February low was $48.90 and this level would likely be tested if the company totally drops the ball.  A break below the “double bottom” could lead to a further breakdown to the mid to lower $40′s.

The company has beat and tied estimates the past 3 quarters and missed in the prior one before those.  The last two have been a beat by 4 cents, a match, and the two before were wild with a 52-cent beat and 13-cent miss.

There are only 2 suit-and-ties with estimates and they are expecting earnings anywhere from a profit of $1.22 or $1.59 (a share).  Needless to say, the chance for a huge beat or miss will be there.

This could make the headlines although investors won’t know there are only 2 analysts covering a $57 stock.

The cost for both options would have been $1.40-$1.50 on Friday.  We would have needed to get into them on Friday as the company reports before Monday’s open.

The breakeven point is for shares to make a move above $61.50 or a drop below $53.50.  Another worry was that shares will have to make the move in the next 3 weeks.

We can “follow” the trade for education purposes  and if shares trade flat we could look at a trade with May options.” (END)

The April 60 calls (CALM140419C00060000, $3.40, up $0.10) opened at $1.70 on Monday and closed the day 400% higher after ending at $3.30.  They traded to a high of $4.20 and today they have traded to $3.90.

The April 55 puts (CALM140419P00055000, $0.20, down $0.05) folded like a cheap lawn chair as they lost over half their value and have no “bid”.

The losses on the put options, even at 100%, would easily have been offset by the call options and why we suggested a possible strangle option trade.

The aforementioned trade could have been entered for $1.50 ahead of last Friday’s close and would have easily been a triple-digit winner but we hesitated and it cost us.

No worries as we have been building up cash for possible 1Q earnings trades that start next week.  Still, we should have pulled the trigger as we did a lot of research on the trade.  Hopefully, the next one we do will make it easier for any newbies to try a strangle option trade.

As we make the turn, the Dow is up 62 points to 16,520 while the S&P 500 is gaining 8 points to 1,880.  The Nasdaq is advancing 47 points to 4,246 and the Russell 2K is popping a 6-pack to 1,179.  The S&P 500 Volatility Index ($VIX, 13.41, down 0.47).

We have another New Trade today and we have updated our current ones.  Subscribers, hit the Members Area for the updates and stay close to your email inboxes into the close in case we have additional Trade Alerts.


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    Nice call on Nike. I think I'll go buy a pair with my profits! : ) I did the straddle for safety but still made 62% on the trade. Not bad for less than 24 hours. If Goldman is right, then the Nov 70s or 75's could be a steal today. TODD F.

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    “Rick – Wow what a day! I got in at the Dendreon calls at $2.25. Thanks to for your advice. I appreciate that. This company has a lock on this type of therapy and no one else in the world is close. Kind of reminds me of the type of companies that Peter Lynch and Warren Buffet suggest that investments be made in. Companies that can build a moat around their business model, that allows them to charge a premium for their product or service. In other words - a monopoly.” GREG

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    “Hi Rick, thanks for the encouragement to play the dendreon calls! did freaking great! Got in the first lot at $1.44 on 3-24-09, sold at $2.45, 70% not bad. Bought it back at $2.30 on 4-7-09 closed out on 4-14-09 for 454% gain! Wow! I love it when that happens. So, thanks the encouragement to get back in when others were saying sell, sell, sell. Keep up the good work.” GARETT

    “Rick – Thanks for Dendreon – it has made all the headlines today! I missed on RIMM earlier, but I’ve been holding onto DNDN calls since 3rd week March. Of course today it all paid off today, as DNDN rocketed up.” TERENCE

    Jan. 31 2012
    Rick, new member...Studied all current trades, did some chart work,picked ZNGA, PEP, MGM...Sold on Feb. 2 for $3600.00 profit...Cost for 1-year membership to your newsletter was less than $1000.00..All I have to say..Thank you. John H –

    Rick, I purchased 10 contracts of the Nike March 85 puts Thursday afternoon for $2.00. Thing is, I was upset because the puts went down to $1.60 or so before the market closed. Well, needless to say Nike didn’t impress Wall Street and when I turned on the computer this morning the puts were worth $7.10! Sold them for a $5,100 profit!. Thanks again, you are the MAN. Chuck J-

    Hi Rick,

    I will start off with a thank you for your time and dedication to all
    the research you and your team commit yourself to. This is not me just being excited about the profits I have accumulated aka (bank) ! You have helped me get back to the passion I had of researching stocks/options. Keith N-

    Hi Rick,

    I want to share my great results on GMCR. Based on your comments on February 15th, I bought 20 options at $0.28. They closed today at $7.00, which is a 2,300% gain. My $560 dollars turned into $14,000 in less than a month. In decades of trading, this is my single best trade ever. Thank you! By the way, the Dow was down 228 points today and I could care less. What a great trade. It proves the amazing power of options. I am so grateful for your service, which calls it straight all the time, your options trading manual, and most of all, your amazing skill
    at finding winning trades. I have attached a copy of the trade from
    my brokerage screen.

    Hi Rick,

    Wow!! my account it up 70% since i joined last month and market is going the opposite direction. Really appreciate your service. I just wanted to drop a note to say THANK YOU. Hope to be with you guys for a very long time. Mel


    Great call on Fosl I bought the may 120 puts for 3.70 yesterday morning just sold for $32.00 today
    Keep up the great work
    Thank you, Henri

    Rick –

    I bought 10 Deckers Outdoor (DECK) May 55 puts at $0.50 on 4/26/12 and sold them on 4/27/12 for $1.65. I made $1150 in one day. Thanks. I knew something good would happen sooner or later.
    HOW THE HECK did you know Green Mountain Coffee (GMCR) was going to go down 20 points???!!!! I bought 10 of the May 35 puts at $0.49 and then 5 more at .30. I sold them at 5.80. Thank you again.
    You have made a believer out of me. Alan

    Rick –
    I have only been a member for about 6 weeks but I have done well on most of the trades. My first two were QQQ and SPY a month ago and since then I've gotten into the groove and been doing well.
    I try to execute the trades that you recommend as soon as you send them out, sometimes I can't and I miss the Entry price. However, sometimes when I miss the Entry, the price goes down and I get a better price.
    That's exactly what happened with GMCR.
    You recommended it at around $.81 I think, but by the time I got to it, the price was $.27. I bought 100 Puts on Wednesday May 2, 2012 and sold half of them 24 hours later at $5.95 for a nice 2,203% gain. As per your recommendation, as GMCR went above $30 I sold the remaining 50 Puts at $5.50 for a slightly less 2,037% gain.
    On average that one trade netted me a 2,120% gain, entirely based on YOUR recommendation (and a little bit of luck). To put this in real terms, I risked $2,700 on Wednesday and pocketed $54,550 just 24 hours later.
    So uhh, let's do that again real soon!!
    Feel free to use my name. The tax guys have me on speed-dial already anyway. Dennis

    That was awesome on your GMCR pick, I know how risky it can been holding into earnings but you pulled it off. 
    I just started my autotrading with you today and am in on your QQQ play. I look forward this service. 
    I have a busy career and I have tried to follow and trade throughout the day and found it too hard. I hope you continue to have a great year, I plan to go along for the ride. I am starting slow but will pile more in once I have secured some profits. 
    Keep up the good work your trading has been spot on. I am sure you paid your dues to get this point in your career. Anthony


    Great call on GMCR!  I have been trading for about 15 years actively.  This may be the best trade I ever made.  Got in on Monday, April 30 and the stock was up from when you recommended it.  It went up further after I got in.  Here are the facts:
    Monday, April 30th: Bought 15 June 37's at $1.25= $1900 approx
    Thursday, May 3rd: Sold 15 June 37's at $9.30=$13,950
    Gain for the week: $12,050.
    I understand you will not get them all right.  It’s important to ride those winners and as you could tell from my selling price, I sold when the stock went to $28.10, so left a little on the table.  Who can complain.
    Keep the suggestions coming, looking for another jump on your FSLR, one that I have been riding very hard.
    Best regards, Bob

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