Option Bulls Nailed the Post-Earnings Move in Apple

Apple's post-earnings rally pulled the Dow north of 22K

by Emma Gilkey

Published on Aug 2, 2017 at 10:27 AM

U.S. stocks are trading higher amid a continued flood of earnings reports, with the Dow taking out 22,000 right out of the gate. FAANG stock Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), entertainment concern AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc (NYSE:AMC), and sparkling water company Sodastream International Ltd (NASDAQ:SODA) are three stocks in the news this morning. Here's a quick look at what's moving shares of AAPL, AMC, and SODA. 

Solid iPhone Sales Send AAPL to Record Highs

Apple soared past analysts' earnings expectations and reported better-than-expected iPhone sales after Tuesday's close. The FAANG stock received no fewer than nine price-target hikes from analysts. AAPL, which is up 5.4% at $158.09, is already a must-buy for analysts following the stock, with 22 of 31 carrying a "buy" or better recommendation.

Options traders were also bullish ahead of Apple's earnings release. The International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) 10-day call/put volume ratio of 2.81 ranks higher than 96% of all other readings in the past 12 months. With AAPL shares fresh off a new record high of $159.75 this morning, it looks like the crowd called it right on this name.

Analysts Pile On as AMC Gaps to Record Low

AMC stock is adding to its long-term downtrend after the release of disappointing preliminary second-quarter results. The shares gapped lower out of the gate, and hit a new record low of $15.15 earlier. At last check, AMC is off 24.5% at $15.70, widening its year-to-date loss to 53.3%.

So far today, AMC has received price-target cuts from three brokerage firms. Most notably, Credit Suisse issued a cut to $14 from $17, with the firm anticipating new record lows to come for the stock. Despite its steep decline on the charts, analysts remain optimistically aligned on AMC, with seven of 10 carrying a "buy" or better recommendation.

SODA Fizzles After Earnings

SODA stock is down 4.5% at $54.67, erasing its pre-market gains -- despite reporting better-than-expected second-quarter earnings and revenue before today's open. However, Sodastream remains above its supportive 10-week and 20-week moving averages, which have guided the shares to a year-to-date gain of 38.5% and a July 19 three-year high of $59.

Options players were bearish heading into SODA's earnings report. The stock's ISE/CBOE/PHLX 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.71 ranks above 92% of all other ratios in the past year. This suggests puts were being bought-to-open at a faster-than-usual pace relative to calls in recent weeks. 

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