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Option Brief: After hitting a six-year high of $88.28 in early March, Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) entered a period of consolidation, shedding roughly 15% in that time to churn near $74.91. In today's session, although the stock is enjoying a boost from the broader-equities market, it is staring up at its 32-week moving average -- a previous layer of support that could now be switching roles to act as resistance. In the stock's options pits, meanwhile, puts are trading at more than two times the average intraday pace, as traders gamble on LVS to resume its recent downtrend in the very near term.
At last check, the majority of the day's put volume had centered on LVS' April 74 strike, where 4,572 contracts have traded thus far. The vast majority of these puts have crossed at the ask price, implied volatility is up 1.6 percentage points, and volume easily outstrips open interest, collectively inferring buy-to-open activity. Delta for the put is docked at negative 0.36, suggesting a 36% chance the put will be in the money at tomorrow's close, when front-month options expire.
Although LVS tagged an intraday low of $73.98 this morning, risk for today's put buyers is limited to the initial premium paid, should LVS fail to breach the $74 mark again by tomorrow's close. According to Trade-Alert, the volume-weighted average price for the puts is $0.62.
Looking ahead, Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) is slated to tell all in the earnings confessional after next Thursday's close. The casino concern has fallen short of analysts' estimates in five of the past eight quarters, averaging a loss of 0.4% the following week. For LVS' first quarter, the consensus forecast is for a profit of 93 cents per share -- a roughly 31% improvement over the company's year-ago results.