Earnings Preview: FedEx Corporation and Oracle Corporation

Analyzing recent option activity ahead of earnings from FedEx Corporation (FDX) and Oracle Corporation (ORCL)

Sep 15, 2015 at 11:09 AM
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Although we've reached the tail-end of earnings season, there are still a handful of notable names waiting to take their respective turns on stage. Tomorrow morning, for example, package delivery giant FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) will step up to the plate, while software specialist Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) will unveil its results after tomorrow's close. Below, we'll take the pre-earnings temperature of FDX and ORCL.

  • Over the past eight quarters, FDX has averaged a single-session post-earnings move of 2.9%. This time around, the options market is expecting a slightly bigger swing of 3.6%, based on the security's near-term at-the-money (ATM) straddle. It appears as if option traders have been betting on this action to resolve to the upside. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), FDX's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 3.63 ranks in the 98th percentile of its annual range. Simply stated, calls have been bought to open over puts with more rapidity just 2% of the time within the past year. Despite the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming event, the equity's short-term options are pricing in relatively tame volatility expectations, per FDX's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 29% -- in the 48th annual percentile.

    Technically speaking, it's been a pretty lackluster year for FedEx Corporation, with the shares off 12%. The stock is following the broader equities market higher today, though, up 2% at $153.26 -- and attempting to close north of its 20-day moving average for the first time since Aug. 10.

  • Unlike the brokerage bunch, skeptics have been flocking to ORCL's options pits in the weeks leading up to tomorrow's big announcement. At the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX, for example, the equity's 10-day put/call volume ratio has jumped to 5.60 from 2.45 over the past two weeks. What's more, the current ratio rests above all comparable readings taken in the past year. Those purchasing the stock's short-term options are willing to pay a little more -- from a volatility perspective -- considering ORCL's SVI of 31% ranks in the 56th percentile of its annual range.

    Historically, ORCL has charted a post-earnings move of 4.1% over the past eight quarters, slightly less than the 4.9% the equity's near-term ATM straddle is currently pricing in. Recently, the stock has been heading south, with Oracle Corporation down 16.4% from its June 18 high of $45.24 -- and fresh off an Aug. 24 annual low of $35.14. Today, however, the shares are up 0.7% at $37.83.

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