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Ride-the-Wave Strategy – Best for Stock Traders

Ride-the-Wave targets multi-day price momentum following a company’s earnings announcement (EA). With this strategy:

  1. Buy a stock one day post-EA if a stock reacts positively post-earnings:
    1. Near the close of trading the EA-day for a pre-market-EA
    2. Near the close of the following day for a post-market-EA
  2. Sell-to-close after 7-10 days, or possibly earlier if a desired price target is reached

Similarly,

  1. short a stock one day post-EA if a stock reacts negatively post-earnings:
    1. near the close of trading the EA-day for a premarket-EA
    2. near the close of the following day for a post-market-EA
  2. then buy-to-close after 7-10 days, or possibly earlier if a desired price target is reached

Important: Ride-the-Wave is predicated on significant price momentum triggered by an EA. The 7-10 day scenario is the maximum trade hold-time. If you see post EA-momentum is halted or reversed by a significant opposite move, re-evaluate your presence in the trade.

This popular StockEarnings screen below will give you a list of stocks that historically exhibit significant price momentum following an EA for the next seven days:

  1. Stocks exhibiting positive post-EA price moves are buy-candidates
  2. Stocks exhibiting negative post-EA price moves are sell/short-candidates

The screen includes those stocks whose Earnings just came out in last two days.

Screen criteria:

  1. Earnings Date Start Date : Current Date + -1 Day
  2. Earnings Date End Date : Current Date + -2 Days
  3. Predicted Move (Next Day) Max : 7%
  4. Predicted Move (On 7th Day) Min : 7%

Strategy Guideline:

  1. Buy the stock if stock has reacted positively. Short the stock if stock has reacted negatively (see above).
  2. Close the position in 7-10 days, or possibly earlier based on price move.

Volatility Crush Strategy - Best for Options Traders

The Volatility Crush strategy is used with stocks that typically experience relatively low-to-moderate price moves (≤4%) following their Earnings Announcements (EA). The basic trade idea is to sell put or call options right before the EA, collecting a credit when options premium is very high due to elevated implied volatility (IV). You then close the position right after the EA by buying the option back much cheaper due to the significant drop in IV that occurs after the mystery of the EA disappears. In assessing this trade, you need to do your homework to ensure you collect sufficient premium to make the trade worthwhile.

This trade is practical due to the low-to-moderate price-move after the EA, which generally won’t significantly affect the options price, unlike an “action” stock, which experience great price moves post-EA. With these symbols, if you’re on the right side of the price move, that’s a great thing. But if you’re on the wrong side of the move, not so great. Consequently, by minimizing the effect of the post-EA price move, you have a much better chance to profit from the reduction in IV without it being ruined by a violent price move.

For this trade, open the position either (1) the night before the EA when the company announces earnings or (2) during the EA day when it announces post-market, generally capturing IV at or close to its peak.

For this trade, open the position either (1) the night before the EA when the company announces earnings or (2) during the EA day when it announces post-market, generally capturing IV at or close to its peak.

This popular stockearnings screen will give you a list of stocks which do not react more than 4% fpost-EA. It includes only those stocks whose earnings are releasing next day.

Screen criteria:

  1. Earnings Date Start Date : Current Date + 1
  2. Earnings Date End Date : Current Date + 1
  3. Predicted Move (Next Day) Max : 4%
  4. Options Type: Weekly

Strategy Guideline:

  1. Options Strategy: Sell Call and Put
  2. Options Strike Price: Current Stock Price – (% Predicated Move x 2)
  3. Expiration Date: It should generally be the closest expiry immediately after the EA.
  4. Buy Insurance: Buying back Call and Put at Strike price which 10% lower than Sell Strike Price is optional but recommended.

Watch Video for More Detail

Volatility Rush Strategy - Best for Options Traders

The Volatility Rush takes advantage of increasing options premiums into earnings announcements (EA) caused by an anticipated rise in Implied Volatility (IV). With this strategy, Buy a Call and Put at-the-money (a long straddle) 2-3 weeks before the EA when IV is lower. Sell the position either (1) the night before the EA when the company announces earnings pre-market, or (2) during the EA day when it announces post-market, generally capturing IV at or close to its peak.

This popular screen will give you a list of stocks whose Options premiums tend to rise into Earnings. It includes only those stocks whose Earnings are at least two weeks away from today.

Screen criteria:

  1. Earnings Date Start Date : Current Date + 15 Days
  2. Earnings Date End Date : Current Date + 30 Days
  3. Predicted Move (Next Day) Min : 5%
  4. Options Type: Weekly or Monthly if that lines up with the two to three-week lead-time for entering the trade

Strategy Guideline:

  1. Buy a Straddle at or close to the money two to three weeks pre-EA.
  2. Sell the position either the night before the EA when the company announces earnings pre-market, or during the EA day when it announces post-market.
  3. Expiration date should generally be the closest expiry immediately after the EA.
  4. Straddle price should not be more 60% of predicted move.

Since Last Earnings

Change in share price since last Earnings release.

Why is it Important?

When share has gained more than 10% since it's last Earning release, it tends to over react to minor bad news and give up some gains if not all. So, it contains more downside volatility than upside When share has dropped more than 10% since it's last Earning release, it tends to over react to minor good news and recover some drops if not all. So, it contains more upside volatility than downside.

EPS Surprise (%)

Occurs when a company's reported quarterly or annual profits are above or below analysts' expectations. Here is the formula to derive % EPS Surprice:

Actual EPS - Estimated EPS
------------------------------------- x 100
Estimated EPS

Why is it Important?

Earnings surprises can have a huge impact on a company's stock price. Several studies suggest that positive earnings surprises not only lead to an immediate hike in a stock's price, but also to a gradual increase over time. Hence, it's not surprising that some companies are known for routinely beating earning projections. A negative earnings surprise will usually result in a decline in share price.

Next Day Price Change (%)

Next Regular trading session Closing price following Earnings result.

For After Market Close Earnings, It is a next trading day closing price. For Before Market Open Earnings, It is the same trading day closing price.

Why is it Important?

Next Day price change is a reaction of Earnings result.

IBM (NYSE:IBM) is Next to Declare No Visibility into the Pandemic Future

Posted on Apr 22, 2020 by Anne Perry

IBM (NYSE:IBM) is Next to Declare No Visibility into the Pandemic Future

IBM (NYSE:IBM) reported revenue down yr/yr and missed estimates for the sixth time in seven quarters. The company withdrew its outlook but maintained its dividend (5.4% yield), removing language about dividend growth. 

The company faces uncertainty with its Consulting business. In software, IBM warned of a pause among clients amid changing priorities as the crisis played out in March. 

On the positive side, the company is committed to more M&A. The new CEO was the architect behind the $30+ bln deal for open source leader Red Hat. The company needs to get more aggressive with deals to boost its growth. I think the company is in better hands under the new CEO. The company remains a work in progress but the valuation reflects this.

IBM's caution on the software side could weigh on stocks like Workday (WDAY), which could see some of its big deals slip. On the other hand, a more aggressive IBM from an M&A standpoint could eventually light a fire under SaaS stocks (now is not the time given uncertainty regarding COVID).

IBM (NYSE:IBM) promulgates itself as an integrated solutions and services company worldwide. 

Its Cloud & Cognitive Software segment offers software for vertical and domain-specific solutions in health, financial services, and Internet of Things (IoT), weather, and security software and services application areas; and customer information control system and storage, and analytics and integration software solutions to support client mission critical on-premise workloads in banking, airline, and retail industries. 

It also offers middleware and data platform software, including Red Hat, which enables the operation of clients' hybrid multi-cloud environments; and Cloud Paks, WebSphere distributed, and analytics platform software, such as DB2 distributed, information integration, and enterprise content management, as well as IoT, Blockchain and AI/Watson platforms. 

The company's Global Business Services segment offers business consulting services; system integration, application management, maintenance, and support services for packaged software; finance, procurement, talent and engagement, and industry-specific business process outsourcing services; and IT infrastructure and platform services. 

Its Global Technology Services segment provides project, managed, outsourcing, and cloud-delivered services for enterprise IT infrastructure environments; and IT infrastructure support services. The company's Systems segment offers servers for businesses, cloud service providers, and scientific computing organizations; data storage products and solutions; and z/OS, an enterprise operating system, as well as Linux. 

Its Global Financing segment provides lease, installment payment, loan financing, short-term working capital financing, and remanufacturing and remarketing services. 

The stock has suffered a bit of late, with shares of IBM taking a hit in recent action, down about -6% over the past week.


Anne has a passion for understanding the real value of stocks in publicly traded markets. She has a BA in Finance and a Masters in microeconomics. Anne has worked as a consultant advising buy-side firms and long-only equity fund managers. At stocksearning.com, she anchors our fundamental research writing desk.

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