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Anheuser-Busch (BUD – 40-1/2) is expected to release its third-quarter earnings after tonight's close. The consensus estimate on Wall Street is for the firm to earn 56 cents per share, a 14-percent improvement over last year's numbers for the same time period. According to Earnings.com
, BUD has surpassed analysts' estimates in four of the past five quarters. The company matched Street expectations for the fifth quarter.
In anticipation of this announcement, speculators are engaging in heavy spread activity. In late-afternoon trading, 3,450 calls have traded on the December 35 call, while 4,525 options have changed hands on the June 40 call. Some of this volume may be roll-outs, as the back-month call is home to over 3,800 open contracts, while the June position had no open interest prior to today. Shortly after 1:00 p.m., large blocks traded as spreads between the two strikes. All of the volume was executed between the bid and the ask prices.
BUD is trading over six percent lower just before 3:00 p.m. This has taken BUD below its 10-day and 20-day moving averages.