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Earnings, M&A Buzz Bring Cisco System, Inc. (CSCO) Bulls Out

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) option traders are targeting front-month calls today

May 13, 2015 at 2:23 PM
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Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) is slated to take its turn on the earnings stage after tonight's close, and ahead of the event -- and amid speculation the firm could have its eye on one cybersecurity firm -- the stock is up 0.2% at $29.30. In the options arena, total volume is running at three times the average intraday pace, with calls having a significant lead over puts.

Drilling down, it appears one speculator may be initiating a short strangle with CSCO's May 28.50 put and 29 call. Elsewhere, it looks as if more vanilla option traders are buying to open the stock's May 30 call -- according to data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE) -- to bet on an end-of-week breakout above the round-number $30 mark. Delta on the May 30 call is docked at 0.34, indicating a 34% chance the option will be in the money at this Friday's close, when front-month options expire.

Widening the sentiment scope reveals optimism has been building toward a stock that's up more than 28% year-over-year. Among the brokerage bunch, 20 out of 26 analysts maintain a "buy" or better rating on the equity. However, the average 12-month price target of $30.48 sits at a slim 3.9% premium to current trading levels -- leaving the door wide open for a round of price-target hikes, should CSCO impress in the earnings confessional.

Looking over the past eight quarters, Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) has moved an average of 6.7% in the session subsequent to reporting. This time around, the options market is expected a slimmer move of 4.4%, based on the equity's near-term at-the-money straddle.

 

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