Earnings Roundup: Citigroup Inc, Blackstone Group LP, and UnitedHealth Group Inc

Citigroup Inc (C), Blackstone Group LP (BX), and UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH) are on the move, following earnings

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Oct 15, 2015 at 11:15 AM

It's been a busy morning on the earnings front, with financial names in the spotlight for the second day in a row. Today, Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) and Blackstone Group LP (NYSE:BX) are in focus, while insurance issue UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) is also fresh out of the confessional. Here's a look at how each of the companies fared, as well as Wall Street's reaction.

C is fresh off an earnings beat, sending the shares 1.6% higher to $51.54. However, the stock has struggled to take out the $52 level in recent weeks, and topped out at this mark earlier -- running into its descending 10-week moving average.

Most option traders are probably hoping C gets rejected by that trendline. During the last 10 weeks at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the stock has amassed a put/call volume ratio of 0.71 -- just 4 percentage points from a 12-month high.

BX, meanwhile, has tacked on nearly 2% at $34.19, despite the firm's first quarterly loss since 2011. Specifically, the company's per-share loss of 35 cents was sharper than expected, exacerbated by sagging asset values.

BX's rally may be putting the heat on option bears. The stock's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 1.17 outstrips more than three-quarters of comparable readings from the past year. In other words, traders have displayed a stronger-than-usual preference for bearish bets over bullish in recent weeks.

Finally, UNH's slightly better-than-expected third-quarter earnings -- and 27% year-over-year surge in revenue -- aren't helping the shares. The stock was last seen 3.8% lower at $117.40, though it remains up over 16% on a year-to-date basis.

Option speculators have been banking on additional downside, per data from the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX. During the last two weeks, UNH has racked up a put/call volume ratio of 1.55 -- in the 87th percentile of its annual range.

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