EMC Corporation (EMC) Traders Gamble on More Post-Earnings Upside

EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC) calls are trading at four times the average intraday pace

by Karee Venema

Published on Apr 22, 2015 at 11:29 AM
Updated on Apr 22, 2015 at 11:33 AM

EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC) is trading higher today -- up 2.2% at $26.91 -- as the company's dismal turn in the earnings confessional sparks speculation the firm could be encouraged to explore strategic alternatives. In the options pits, EMC calls are trading at four times the average intraday rate, and are outpacing puts by a nearly 3-to-1 margin, with a number of speculators betting on the equity to extend this upside over the next two months.

Specifically, EMC's June 29 call has received notable attention. It appears as if new positions are being purchased, meaning traders expect the security to rally north of $29 by the close on Friday, June 19 -- when back-month options expire. The probability of an in-the-money finish isn't very high at the moment, as delta on the call is docked at 0.18.

From a wider sentiment perspective, it's been puts, not calls, that speculators have been buying to open at an accelerated clip in recent months. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), EMC's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.55 ranks just 9 percentage points from a 52-week peak.

Technically speaking, this withstanding skepticism among option traders is warranted, considering EMC has surrendered nearly 15% since hitting a 13-year high of $30.92 in late December. However, it's a sentiment not shared among the brokerage bunch. This outlook could be shifting, though, should more analysts follow in the footsteps of Piper Jaffray, which downgraded the security to "neutral" earlier.

Also of note, VMware, Inc. (NYSE:VMW) -- of which EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC) is majority owner -- said its first-quarter profit exceeded analysts' estimate, while revenue arrived in line. As such, the shares are bucking their historical post-earnings performance, and were last seen up 4.5% at $89.23.

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