Pre-Earnings Call Volume Explodes on Coach Stock

Coach will report earnings ahead of the open on Tuesday, May 2

Karee Venema
May 1, 2017 at 3:22 PM
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While tech stocks will dominate the earnings front this week, high-end retailer Coach is also slated to unveil its quarterly report, with the results due ahead of tomorrow's opening bell. Ahead of the event, COH stock is trading down 0.5% at $39.18 to test support at its February highs. COH options, meanwhile, are flying off the shelves, with volume running at nine times what's typically seen at this point in the day.

COH Options Traders Target Round 40 Strike

Drilling down, 26,721 calls have traded on COH -- 11 times the expected intraday rate, and more than the 12-month high of 24,830 calls set on Jan. 30. By comparison, 8,487 puts have changed hands, five times intraday average. Nearly half of the day's call volume has centered at the June 40 strike, and it seems safe to assume new positions are being purchased here. In other words, options traders expect COH to retake the round $40 mark by the close on Friday, June 16 -- when the back-month options expire.

The 40 strike has been popular among COH options traders, though, with the May 40 call site of the stock's top open interest position. Diving deeper reveals a large portion of the activity here occurred on April 17, when one options trader sold to close her April 38 calls ahead of expiration, and rolled them out and up to the May 40 strike.

COH Stock Has Struggled Amid Rising Short Interest

Looking at the charts, COH stock has struggled underneath the $40 mark since Kate Spade delivered a blow to Coach's buyout plans in early April. However, this price action has coincided with increased selling pressure from short sellers, with short interest up almost 27% in the most recent reporting period to 12.1 million shares -- the most since mid-November. 

Nevertheless, COH stock remains 11.5% higher year-to-date, and Coach shares have a history of positive post-earnings reactions. Specifically, in the past eight quarters, COH has finished higher in the session subsequent to reporting seven times, averaging a gain of 4%. This time around, COH options are pricing in a 9.3% swing in tomorrow's trading, regardless of direction.

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