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Option Bulls Cheer Michael Kors (KORS) Earnings Surprise

February 57.50 call already in the money after KORS spikes this morning

by 2/12/2013 10:51 AM
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Clothier Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (NYSE:KORS - 63.90) turned in an impressive earnings performance this morning, helping those options traders who bet on the performance in Monday's trading. Roughly 68,000 calls were traded yesterday, more than five times the normal volume. That compared with 39,000 puts (also five times the typical trading day).

The most active call was the February 57.50 call, with 13,174 contracts crossing the tape. Implied volatility spiked more than 28 percentage points, while volume almost doubled open interest, meaning at least some of these were purchased to open. Indeed, open interest rose by roughly 8,600 contracts overnight at this strike.

The call traded at a volume-weighted average price (VWAP) of $2.86. That means the stock has to finish at or above $60.36 (strike price plus VWAP) at the close of expiration day Friday for the front-month trade to break even or better. And this morning's events put these calls clearly in the money, as the stock skyrocketed more than 12% at the market open from yesterday's close at $57. If KORS loses momentum, and drops back down below the breakeven level (or even the strike price), the most the traders can lose is the premium paid.

The optimistic attitude toward KORS appears to be nothing new. The equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) stands at 0.63, and is in the 16th percentile of similar readings taken in the last 12 months. So not only are option traders buying nearly 1.5 calls for every put, they have rarely been so call-heavy in the last year.

As stated, KORS wowed Wall Street with adjusted earnings of 64 cents per share this morning, roundly beating analysts' prediction of 41 cents a share. In addition, the clothing company raised its fiscal year 2013 guidance to between $1.80-$1.82, well above the $1.57 predicted by analysts. The stock exploded to a new record high of $64.80 shortly after the opening bell, and it has now nearly doubled its levels from this time last year, when the stock hit its 12-month low of $33.02.


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