Pre-Earnings King Digital Entertainment plc (KING) Bull Ups the Ante

One King Digital Entertainment PLC (KING) option trader rolled her bullish bet up

Feb 10, 2015 at 2:41 PM
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King Digital Entertainment PLC (NYSE:KING) is following the broader equities market higher today, and was last seen up 3.1%. Against this backdrop, call volume is soaring, with one trader in particular gambling on some post-earnings upside after the "Candy Crush" parent unveils its fourth-quarter results this Thursday evening.

Specifically, the stock's February 13.54 and 15.54 calls have seen the most action. According to Trade-Alert, the lower-strike calls are being sold to close, while the higher-strike calls are being bought to open, as one speculator rolls her bullish bet up. In other words, she now expects KING to rally above $15.54 by next Friday's close, when front-month options expire.

With KING's quarterly earnings report just days away, short-term speculators are willing to pay a pretty penny to place their bets. For starters, the equity's 30-day at-the-money implied volatility of 86% ranks higher than 99% of similar readings taken since the stock began trading last March. What's more, the security's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 1.05 is perched at a record peak. Summing it all up, premium on KING's front-month options is pricing in relatively lofty volatility expectations at the moment.

Technically speaking, KING has been charting a path lower in 2015, off 9% to trade at $13.84. Unfortunately for today's call buyer, the stock could be poised to resume this downtrend after it reports earnings on Thursday. In the three other times King Digital Entertainment PLC (NYSE:KING) has stepped into the earnings confessional since going public, the stock has averaged a loss of 10.8% in the subsequent session.

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