How Options Traders Just Made a 100% Profit on This Athletic Retailer

Relatively low near-term options prices attracted us to rallying LULU

Managing Editor
Apr 19, 2018 at 1:21 PM
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Subscribers to Schaeffer's Expiration Week Countdown service just scored a 100% profit with the Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ:LULU) April 90 call. We're going to take a look back to see why we were initially bullish on LULU when we recommended the call, and how the options trade unfolded.

At the time of our call recommendation this past Sunday, April 15, we noted that broader equity volatility, as measured by the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), remained elevated relative to the remarkably tame 2017 mean. But Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) for LULU stood in the 5th percentile of its annual range, at 28%, which suggested that unusually low volatility premiums were being priced into the stock's April options.

Despite the possibility of overhead resistance in the mid-90s slowing the stock's progress, all evidence pointed to the fact that the steady, low-volatility uptrend that had defined the price action in LULU since its late-March earnings report was likely to continue through expiration week. This included a very strong 14-day Average Directional Index (ADX) of 39.

A perceptible skew toward put options over calls also tilted the odds in LULU's favor as Friday's expiration approached. Puts outnumbered calls on an absolute basis, as reflected by the stock's total put/call open interest ratio of 1.09.

Plus, in the front-month series, the most popular strike by far was the near-the-money April 89 put, which carried open interest nearly double that of what was the top call strike in the series (the April 95). In our Sunday night bulletin, we recommended that subscribers enter a market order to buy the April 90 call on Monday, April 16.

Looking at the retailer's performance this week, on Monday the stock saw a huge lift, with help from a price-target hike and encouraging March retail sales. LULU stock on Tuesday continued its rally, after Lululemon named a new CFO, and the journey to record highs continued into Wednesday -- when our 100% profit objective was hit -- with the shares peaking at $95.66.

LULU postmortem chart


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