Options Traders See Big Earnings Swings From XLNX, FFIV, CTXS Stocks

Call traders have taken interest in Citrix Systems

Jul 23, 2019 at 12:42 PM
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Three companies reporting earnings after the close tomorrow, July 24, are chipmaker Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ:XLNX), application delivery specialist F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFIV), and software stock Citrix Systems, Inc (NASDAQ:CTXS). There's notable data to discuss out of the options pits for all three, so let's take a closer look at the shares of XLNX, FFIV, and CTXS.

Xilinx Keeps Rallying Into Earnings

XLNX stands out because of its volatile earnings history, posting three straight quarters of double-digit percentage moves after earnings. Last quarter, for instance, the shares sold off 17.1% the day after the company reported. Options traders are pricing in another huge move this time, too, expecting a 12% swing for Thursday's session. As for sentiment, there be a slight bearish tilt, since the Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.20 ranks in the top quartile of its annual range.

Speaking of that last earnings sell-off, the shares have been trying to rally back from that, as they bottomed around the round $100 mark shortly afterward. They were last seen trading up 1.6% at $126.20, which would be their highest close since that quarterly report. Going back further, Xilinx sports a year-over-year lead of 84.4%, though Benchmark this morning began coverage with a tepid "hold" rating based on valuation concerns. 

F5 Networks Short Interest Pops

FFIV certainly has been no where close to as volatile as XLNX, but the options market is betting that changes soon. The shares have averaged a post-earnings swing of just 3.4% in the past eight quarters, and this time speculators are pricing in a much bigger 7.7% move.

Some seemingly are betting on more downside, since short interest keeps rising, up 14.7% in the last reporting period. It would now take short sellers five days to cover, based on average daily trading volumes. The bearish bias isn't surprising, since the stock has dropped 15.8% in the past year, hitting a 52-week low of $131.53 at the end of May. The shares were last seen trading at $145.56, struggling below the 80-day moving average.

CTXS Shares Face Chart Resistance

Finally, CTXS is like FFIV in that it hasn't been particularly volatile after earnings in the past two years, with an average swing of just 2.7% the day after quarterly reports. Yet this time the options market is pricing in a move more than double that of 6.7%. Some of these traders may be betting on the move to go the upside, since 2,111 long calls crossed in the past 10 days at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), compared to just 99 puts.

Citrix Systems was last seen trading down 1% at $100.46. The shares are down 7% in the past 12 months, and are now facing off with the 200-day moving average, a level that's acted as resistance on multiple occasions in recent months.


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