KBH Call Options See Pre-Earnings Surge

Call options traders have been circling the homebuilder ahead of earnings

Emma Duncan
Jan 9, 2020 at 12:21 PM
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Homebuilder KB Home (NYSE:KBH) is seeing a nice lift this afternoon, earlier logging a two-year high of $37.59. The equity has been on a consistent climb higher in the last 12 months, with support at its ascending 80-day moving average pushing the stock to a now 68% year-over-year lead. Looking ahead, the construction name will report fiscal fourth-quarter earnings after the close today, and below we'll take a dive into what the options market is expecting for the equity's post-earnings moves.

Daily KBH with 80MA

Looking at KBH's earnings history, the stock has closed higher the day after reporting in six of the past eight quarters -- including a 7.9% surge in June -- averaging an overall 4.7% swing regardless of direction. This time around, the options market is pricing in a larger-than-usual 7.2% move for Friday's trading.

In the options pits, call traders are circling KBH at 10 times the expected rate, with over 6,000 contacts on the tape so far. Most popular are the front-month January 2020 37 and 38 calls where more than 2,000 total contracts have been exchanged between the two. 

Short sellers have been piling on, but there's plenty of room aboard the bearish bandwagon. Short interest rose 19.4% during the most recent reporting period, and now accounts for 3.4% of the stock's total available float. This accounts for just two days' worth of pent-up buying power, at KBH's average pace of daily trading.


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