Earnings Preview: TASER International, Inc. (TASR)

TASER International, Inc. (TASR) put options have been popular heading into earnings

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Nov 8, 2016 at 2:31 PM

TASER International, Inc. (NASDAQ:TASR) is slated to report earnings tomorrow night. The company's previous report in early August was pretty uneventful, as the stock finished the subsequent session flat. Overall, however, during the last eight quarters, the shares have averaged a move of 8.7% in either direction, in the session immediately following earnings. This time around, the options market is pricing in an even bolder 12.6% swing.

From the looks of it, traders are expecting TASR to resolve to the downside. Today, put options are running at more than double rate of calls, and at over two times the usual intraday clip -- albeit amid low absolute volumes. A similar story has been told in recent weeks at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). Specifically, TASR has amassed a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.77 -- a 12-month high -- suggesting bearish bets have been extremely popular.

The same is true elsewhere. Most notably, short interest jumped nearly 23% in the last two reporting periods to its highest level since February. Right now, 21.6% of the stock's total float is dedicated to short interest, which would take about a week to cover, at TASR's average daily volumes.

It isn't hard to understand why the shares have been hit with such skepticism. TASER International, Inc. (NASDAQ:TASR) has had a woeful time on the charts since flirting with $30 throughout the month of August. Plus, since losing a high-profile contract in early October, the stock has surrendered 22% of its value. At last check, TASR is up 0.2% at $22.32.

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