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Option Brief: Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) options volume has ramped up today, as speculators place eleventh-hour bets ahead of the web giant's turn in the earnings confessional tonight. About 54,000 option orders have already been traded, representing a 71% mark-up to what is seen by this point on an average day. Calls have a modest advantage over puts, with 31,000 of the former and 23,000 of the latter on the tape.
Speculators look to be placing short-term bets, as nine of the 10 most active strikes expire at the end of tomorrow's trading day. Most active on the put side is the out-of-the-money October 865 put, where the majority of the roughly 1,500 contracts trading have done so at the ask price, suggesting buyers who may be looking for a post-earnings dip. The most active call is the out-of-the-money October 940 call, which is seeing a mixture of buying and selling activity.
Analysts are expecting per-share earnings of $10.34 for the company's third quarter, which would be a 14.5% increase from Google's year-ago profit of $9.03 per share. During the last seven quarters, GOOG has managed to top the Street's outlook on four occasions (falling short the other three times). On average, the shares have dropped 1.3% and 2.2% the subsequent day and week, respectively.
Meanwhile, the stock has dipped 0.5% today to $893.58. The $900 level continues to elude the shares, which have not closed above this round-number level since Sept. 20.
Our Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) quote page features more in-depth analysis, such as research tools and recent commentary.