Earnings Preview: BlackBerry Limited (BBRY)

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) will report earnings tomorrow morning

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Jun 22, 2015 at 2:32 PM
Updated on Jun 22, 2015 at 3:02 PM

Ahead of BlackBerry Ltd's (NASDAQ:BBRY) first-quarter earnings report, due out bright and early tomorrow, options traders have displayed significant pessimism. During the past 10 weeks at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the mobile phone maker has accrued a put/call volume ratio of 0.44 -- in the 79th percentile of its annual range.

Echoing this is BBRY's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.89, which ranks higher than 86% of comparable readings from the last year. In other words, short-term traders have rarely been so put-skewed toward the equity.

Options players aren't the only ones expressing doubt toward BBRY. Nearly 18% of the stock's float is sold short, representing over 13 sessions' worth of pent-up buying demand, at typical daily trading levels. If that's not enough, 16 of 19 analysts tracking the shares have doled out "hold" or worse recommendations.

Collectively, these skeptics may be on the ropes as BBRY has popped 2.6% this afternoon to hover near $9.14. An earnings win could put additional pressure on doubters, too. In the session following three of the previous four reports, the equity has rallied -- and the lone exception was a minor 0.8% loss. This time around, the options market is pricing in a 7.9% post-earnings shift, per the equity's near-term at-the-money straddle.

Meanwhile, sentiment already appears to be shifting, based on today's options activity. Specifically, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) calls are trading at triple the usual intraday rate -- and three times the pace of puts -- with possible buy-to-open activity at the weekly 6/26 9-strike and July 10 calls.

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