Medtronic Stock Set to Topple Ceiling After Top-Line Beat

Options traders are piling on the equity today

Assistant Editor
Aug 25, 2020 at 10:25 AM
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Medical device manufacturer Medtronic PLC (NYSE:MDT) is an early-morning winner on Wall Street today, in the wake of its blowout corporate report. Medtronic reported adjusted fiscal first-quarter earnings of 64 cents per share on revenue of $6.51 billion, both of which easily bested analyst estimates. In response, MDT is up 3.7% to trade at $103.72.

Should these morning gains hold, MDT could have a chance to close above its 200-day moving average -- a trendline that rejected the stock's rally earlier this month -- for the first time since late February. Nevertheless, longer term MDT remains down 8.3% in 2020 despite a now 13.4% quarterly gain.

Meanwhile, options players have been ramping up their exposure to puts lately. This is per MDT's 50-day put/call volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) that sits in the 84th percentile of its annual range, suggesting a much healthier appetite for bearish bets of late. 

Today's options pits paint a different picture. In just the first hour of trading, over 5,000 calls and nearly 3,000 puts have crossed the tape so far -- five times the intraday average and volume pacing in the 99th percentile of readings from the past 12 months. Most popular today is the weekly 8/28 105-strike call, followed closely by the September 110 call. 

Those looking to bet on Medtronic stock's next move should consider options, because  with earnings come and gone, premium can be had for a pretty penny thanks to a volatility crush. The equity's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 29% stands higher than just 17% of all other readings from the past 12 months. This implies options traders have been pricing in relatively low volatility expectations on MDT. 

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