Earnings Preview: First Solar, Inc., SolarCity Corp, and Starbucks Corporation

First Solar, Inc. (FSLR), SolarCity Corp (SCTY), and Starbucks Corporation (SBUX) are gearing up for earnings tomorrow night

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Oct 28, 2015 at 1:41 PM

Energy stocks are making major moves this afternoon, amid crude oil's resurgence. More volatility could be in store after tomorrow night, when a pair of prominent solar companies hits the earnings confessional, along with a number of household names. Specifically, alternative energy issues First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) and SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) are on deck to report quarterly numbers, as is java giant Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX). Below, we'll take the pre-earnings temperature of FSLR, SCTY, and SBUX.

  • FSLR has caught fire today, up 2.8% at $50.83 -- and on the doorstep of a 14% year-to-date gain. Based on the stock's near-term at-the-money (ATM) straddle, the options market is pricing in a 9.2% move following Thursday evening's earnings report -- in line with the equity's average single-session post-event move over the prior eight quarters. Based on activity at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), traders are anticipating First Solar, Inc. will resolve to the upside. Specifically, the equity's 50-day call/put volume ratio of 1.78 ranks in the bullish 83rd percentile of its annual range.

  • Meanwhile, sector peer SCTY has been far less successful on the charts, slipping 0.4% today at $37.82 -- and staring at a more than 29% year-to-date deficit. The options market is banking on a big 10.4% earnings move, based on the stock's near-term ATM straddle. This is nearly double SolarCity Corp's average post-event swing of 5.5%, looking back eight quarters. Given the shares' technical troubles, it's little surprise to see option players rolling the dice on losses. Specifically, SCTY's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 3.24 sits just 4 percentage points from a 12-month peak.

  • Finally, SBUX has swung 2.5%, on average, in the session following the company's past eight earnings reports. This time around, the options market is pricing in a steeper move of 5%, per the stock's near-term ATM straddle. Additionally, it seems traders are expecting a post-event slump, based on Starbucks Corporation's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 0.76 -- which registers above all but 6% of comparable readings from the prior year. Technically speaking, though, the shares have been impressive -- surging nearly 54% year-to-date at $63.10, just below Monday's record high of $63.84.
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