Post-Earnings Bulls Bombard United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS)

United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS) calls are trading at 12 times the average intraday pace

by Karee Venema

Published on Apr 28, 2015 at 11:14 AM
Updated on Apr 28, 2015 at 11:15 AM

Unlike sector peer FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX), United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS) is trading higher in the wake of its quarterly results -- up 3.4% at $100.74, thanks to a first-quarter profit beat. In the options pits, calls are trading at 12 times what's typically seen at this point in the day, with a number of speculators gambling on UPS to extend its lead in triple-digit territory over the next several weeks.

Specifically, the equity's May 100 call has seen the most action today, with 6,761 contracts on the tape at last check. It appears some of the activity here is of the buy-to-open kind -- a theory echoed by data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE) -- meaning traders expect UPS to continue its rally north of $100 through the close on Friday, May 15 -- when front-month options expire. Amid today's earnings-induced pop, delta on the call has jumped to 0.58 from 0.27, indicating an increased probability of an in-the-money finish.

From a wider sentiment perspective, today's accelerated call activity is just more of the same. At the ISE, Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), UPS' 50-day call/put volume ratio of 3.06 rests in the 89th annual percentile. Simply stated, calls have been bought to open over puts with more rapidity just 11% of the time within the past year.

This optimism toward a stock that was down 12.4% year-to-date heading into today's session has not been echoed among the brokerage bunch, however. No fewer than 63% of covering analysts maintain a lukewarm "hold" rating on United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS), while the average 12-month price target of $106.13 stands at a slim 5.4% premium to current trading levels.

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