Option Bears Target Cinemark Stock Ahead of Earnings

CNK will report earnings ahead of the open, Feb. 26

Assistant Editor
Feb 25, 2021 at 2:53 PM
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Though AMC Entertainment (AMC) has garnered quite a bit more attention lately due to speculative trading, sector peer Cinemark Holdings Inc (NYSE:CNK) is not to be forgotten as it prepares for earnings ahead of the open tomorrow, Feb. 26. The stock has struggled to regain pre-pandemic levels on the charts, however, after an early-November bull gap, the equity has been steadily making its way higher. Down 3.8% to trade at $23.20 at last check, CNK is still up 33.6% year-to-date.

Taking a look at Cinemark stock's recent earnings history, the stock was higher after just half of its past eight post-earnings sessions. In these last two years, CNK has averaged a swing of 4.2% after earnings, regardless of direction. This time around, the options market is pricing in a much larger move of 13%.

Ahead of the event, options traders are leaning bearish. So far today, put volume is running at double what's typically seen at this point, with 5,562 puts and 3,846 calls across the tape so far. The March 15 put is the most popular, followed by the September 30 call, with new positions being opened at the latter. 

This penchant for puts is quite the turnaround, as 5.61 calls have been bought for every put in the last 10 days at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). This ratio stands higher than 89% of its annual readings, suggesting calls are being picked up at a faster pace than usual.

Even with earnings ahead, Cinemark's options are reasonably priced right now. CNK's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 85% is in the 16th percentile of its annual range, implying that options players are pricing in relatively low volatility expectations.

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