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This morning, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (WSM) hit a new 52-week high of $25.10 on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), following a chart-topping trip to the earnings confessional. Specifically, the company reported fourth-quarter profits of 86 cents per share, surpassing analysts' prediction of 73 cents per share.
Following this news, option players swarmed WSM with seven times its usual volume. Calls have been particularly popular, with 7,723 of these bullish bets changing hands -- 10 times WSM's expected call volume of 770. The in-the-money April 22.50 call has been most appealing to traders, with 2,077 contracts changing hands at this strike.
However, WSM's April 25 call -- which is currently home to peak call open interest -- has also seen heavy traffic today, with 1,754 contracts traded -- 54% at the bid price, suggesting they were sold. With 4,416 contracts currently in residence at this strike, we'll have to wait until tomorrow to see if this activity translates into new positions.
WSM has added 16.2% in 2010, and recently broke through resistance at the $26 level -- a feat not accomplished since May 2008. However, analysts are skeptical of the equity, with 19 out of 23 rating the equity a "hold" or worse, according to Zacks.
At last check, the WSM was up 10.4%, to flirt with $26.66.