Intuit Inc. (INTU) Earnings Bring In Eleventh-Hour Bulls

Intuit Inc. (INTU) hit an all-time high today


Published on Feb 20, 2015 at 11:08 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:09 PM

Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ:INTU) touched an all-time high of $96.61 this morning, and was last seen 5.3% higher at $95.95, after reporting a narrower-than-expected quarterly loss and receiving price-target hikes from UBS and Jefferies. Now, option traders are rushing to the TurboTax maker. Specifically, calls are in focus, crossing the tape at a pace 25 times what's normally seen at mid-morning.

Speculators are scrambling to get their hands on the February 97.50 call -- the stock's most popular contract -- which expires today. Some of these contracts are being bought to open, meaning traders are betting on INTU to rally above $97.50 before the close today -- a move that would represent a 7% gain from yesterday's close at $91.11. Such a move would be by far INTU's biggest jump in a session following an earnings report in the past year. On the day after the equity's last earnings report in November, it only added 1.1%.

Prior to the stock's earnings release, option traders had grown increasingly pessimistic. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), INTU's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 2.04 sits in the 79th annual percentile, indicating a stronger-than-usual skew toward bearish bets over bullish.

The majority of analysts, however, remain unsure of the shares. Of the 13 brokerage firms covering the security, eight give it a "hold" or worse recommendation. Moreover, with today's surge, INTU has now surpassed its average 12-month price target of $93.67.

Even before today, Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ:INTU) had already been a long-term success story on the charts. On a year-over-year basis, the shares had added 23.4% prior to this morning's jump.

Daily Chart of INTU Since October 2014

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