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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.

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG) Endures Short-term Pain for Long-term Gain

Posted on Apr 22, 2020 by Anne Perry

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG) Endures Short-term Pain for Long-term Gain

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG) is likely to be one of the rare positive surprises for earnings data this quarter, beating on the top and bottom lines. But it is also an example of strong execution in an increasingly difficult context. The coronavirus has hit hard here because no one wants to be anywhere near a hospital right now unless they absolutely have to be. And procedures that aren’t emergencies are going to be put off until the ICU base of the developed world isn’t overrun with COVID-19 cases. But this will eventually translate into a pent-up demand driver for the company.

Worldwide, the company saw its da Vinci procedures grow at around 10% yr/yr, driven primarily by growth in U.S. general surgery procedures and worldwide urologic procedures. The Company shipped 237 da Vinci Surgical Systems, an increase of 1% yr/yr. The Company grew its da Vinci Surgical System installed base to 5,669 systems as of March 31, 2020, an increase of 11% yr/yr. 

"For the first two and a half months of the first quarter of 2020, procedure performance was trending at the higher end of our expectations. However, as noted in the Company's April 8 press release, the Company experienced a significant decline in procedure volume and postponements of system placements in the latter half of March in the U.S. and Western Europe, as healthcare systems in those areas diverted resources to meet the increasing demands of managing COVID-19." 

On a worldwide basis, weekly procedures performed exiting Q1 were approximately 50% lower than the run rate through mid-March. The key here was the co was doing well prior to the COVID impact. We were well aware that medical procedures had been delayed, so this is no surprise. The big takeaway is twofold: the structural trend favoring robotics in medicine is undamaged, and we will surely see the stock price along the thesis that we are storing up a pent-up demand for procedures that will eventually lead to a boom for ISRG in a post-pandemic reality, whenever that is.

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG) bills itself as a company that designs, manufactures, and markets da Vinci surgical systems, and related instruments and accessories in the United States and internationally. 

The company's da Vinci Surgical System include surgeon's consoles, patient-side carts, 3-D vision systems, da Vinci skills simulators, da Vinci Xi integrated table motions, and Firefly fluorescence imaging products that enable surgeons to perform various surgical procedures, including gynecologic, urologic, general, cardiothoracic, and head and neck surgical procedures. It also manufactures EndoWrist instruments, such as forceps, scissors, electrocautery tools, scalpels, and other surgical tools, which incorporate wrist joints for natural dexterity for various surgical procedures. 

In addition, the company offers EndoWrist Stapler, a wristed stapling instrument for resection, transection, and creation of anastomoses; and EndoWrist One Vessel Sealers that are wristed single-use instruments for bipolar coagulation and mechanical transection of vessels up to 7mm in diameter and tissue bundles that fit in the jaws of the instrument. 

Additionally, the company sells various accessories comprising sterile drapes for ensuring sterile field during surgery; and vision products that include replacement 3D stereo endoscopes, camera heads, light guides, and other items that facilitate use of the da Vinci Surgical System, as well as Ion endoluminal system for biopsies.

If you're long this stock, then you're liking how the stock has responded to the announcement. ISRG shares have been moving higher over the past week overall, pushing about 4% to the upside on above average trading volume. Shares of the stock have powered higher over the past month, rallying roughly 29% in that time on strong overall action.


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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