Earnings Preview: Actavis, Kandi, Clean Energy Fuels

Analyzing recent option activity ahead of earnings from Actavis plc (NYSE:ACT), Kandi Technologies Group Inc (NASDAQ:KNDI), and Clean Energy Fuels Corp (NASDAQ:CLNE)

May 8, 2015 at 3:09 PM
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Among the stocks gearing up to report earnings are drugmaker Actavis plc (NYSE:ACT), specialty automaker Kandi Technologies Group Inc (NASDAQ:KNDI), and natural gas concern Clean Energy Fuels Corp (NASDAQ:CLNE). Below, we'll take the pre-earnings temperature of ACT, KNDI, and CLNE. 

  • The shares of ACT are 2% higher at $292.89, following news that a favorable appeals court ruling will allow the firm to immediately re-launch its generic version of AstraZeneca plc's (NYSE:AZN) Pulmicort Respules. In addition, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit  brought on by the city of Chicago, which claimed ACT and a trio of other drugmakers broke consumer protection laws by downplaying the addiction risks of opioid painkillers. Mizuho started coverage on the equity with a "buy" rating and a $358 price target -- representing a 22% premium to current trading levels, and in uncharted territory for ACT. Technically speaking, although Actavis plc has been a long-term outperformer, the shares have taken a step back lately, down 7.8% from their March 20 all-time high of $317.72 to test support atop their 20-week moving average. In the options pits, short-term traders have been more put-heavy than usual, as ACT's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.98 is higher than 88% of all similar readings from the past year. Meanwhile, the stock has moved an average of 1.7% in the session immediately following its last four earnings reports, with only one of those sessions resulting in a loss. However, after ACT takes its turn in the earnings confessional Monday morning, the options market expects the stock to move 3.9% by Friday's close, per its near-term at-the-money (ATM) straddle. Short-term options players are paying relatively deflated prices, as ACT's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 36% stands in the 15th percentile of its annual range. 
  • KNDI has been sliding as well, with the shares down 13% year-to-date to linger near $12.19. Accordingly, puts have been more prominent than usual in the options pits, as Kandi Technologies Group Inc's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 0.35 ranks in the 73rd annual percentile. On the earnings front, KNDI has spent two of its three total post-earnings sessions in the red, with the shares experiencing an average move of 1.6%. However, after KNDI reports its earnings data Monday morning, the options market is pricing in a move of 9.7%, per the stock's near-term ATM straddle. Short-term options are available for fair prices, historically, as KNDI's SVI of 82% is higher than 42% of all similar readings from the past year. 
  • CLNE has been a technical outperformer, despite a recent pullback into single-digit territory, with the shares up 82.6% year-to-date to hover around $9.13. Despite Clean Energy Fuels Corp's longer-term uptrend, options traders have targeted puts over calls lately. Over the past 10 days at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX, 3.31 CLNE puts have been bought to open for every call, which is a higher ratio than 94% of all equivalent readings from the last 12 months. Elsewhere, the equity has moved an average of 8.6% in the session immediately following its last four earnings reports, including a 19.2% gain in February. Accordingly, after CLNE steps into the earnings spotlight on Monday night, the options market is anticipating a move of 12.1%, per its short-term ATM straddle. Near-term options players are paying relatively inflated prices, as CLNE's SVI of 118% reads in the 82nd percentile of its annual range. 


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