Earnings Preview: Gilead Sciences., Momenta Pharma, Chevron

Analyzing recent option activity ahead of earnings from Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:MNTA), and Chevron Corporation (NASDAQ:CVX)

Apr 30, 2015 at 3:07 PM
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Among the stocks gearing up to report earnings are biotech firms Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) and Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:MNTA), as well as blue chip Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX). Below, we'll take the pre-earnings temperature of GILD, MNTA, and CVX.

  • GILD has tacked on roughly 7% year-to-date to hover near $100.50. In the options pits, traders have favored calls over puts ahead of Gilead Sciences, Inc.'s trip into the earnings limelight tonight after the close. Drilling down, over the past 10 days at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), 2.80 GILD calls have been bought to open for every put, which is a higher ratio than 66% of all similar readings from the past year. On the earnings front, the equity dropped 8.2% after reporting earnings in February, and has moved an average of 3.7% in the session immediately following its last eight earnings reports. GILD's near-term straddle, meanwhile, is pricing in a loftier 4.6% swing. Traders are paying historically inflated prices for their short-term bets on GILD, as its Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 38% ranks in the 64th percentile of its annual range.
  • The shares of MNTA are down 6.3% to $17.26 -- amid a bad day for biotechs -- as the company prepares to release first-quarter earnings tomorrow morning. However, today's drop has the shares pulling back to their 20-day moving average, which has been a key level of support since mid-February. Looking back, Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has been a strong outperformer, with the stock up 43% year-to-date. Meanwhile, traders have shown a stronger-than-usual appetite for puts -- relative to calls -- lately, as MNTA's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 0.30 stands in the 69th percentile of its annual range. Meanwhile, the security has moved an average of 4% in the session immediately following its last four earnings reports, with three of those four sessions resulting in losses. Furthermore, the options market is pricing in a roughly 10% move, per its near-term straddle. Short-term options are available for fair prices, relatively speaking, as MNTA's SVI of 61% is higher than 48% of all equivalent readings from the past 12 months. 
  • CVX is up 11.8% from its Jan. 30 two-year low of $98.88 to linger near $110.59. However, traders have favored puts over calls in the options pits, as Chevron Corporation's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 3.48 is docked at an annual high. Elsewhere, the security has moved an average of 1% in the session immediately following its last four earnings reports. After CVX's turn in the earnings confessional tomorrow morning, the options market expects the stock to move 1.9% over the course of the session, per its near-term straddle. Speculators are paying historically modest prices for their short-term bets on CVX, as its SVI of 23% stands in the 55th percentile of its annual range.

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