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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.

Predicted Move (Volatility)

Similar to Implied Volatility in Options. Expected volatility % based on our Proprietary Volatility Predication Model. We are expecting that stock price will likely to reach % in either direction by the end of next trading session after Earnings are released and not necessarily the closing volatility %.

Why is it important?

    This indicator helps

  1. Knowing expected volatility in stocks after Earnings helps to decide trading stocks before Earnings Announcement.
  2. Taking Advantage of volatility collapse following Earnings Results by using Advance Options strategies such as Spread and Straddles.

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.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) Earnings Expectation, Optum Operations To Boost Q3 Earnings

Posted on Oct 14, 2021 by Neha Gupta

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) Earnings Expectation, Optum Operations To Boost Q3 Earnings

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) has confirmed that it will release its earnings on Thursday, October 14, 2021, before markets open.

What to look for

During the second, the company reported solid earnings thanks to the robust performance of the Optum unit. Optum manages drug benefits and providers healthcare data analytics solutions and has been vital to the company helping it survive fluctuations in the primary health insurance segment impacted by pandemic-induced changes in medical services use. In addition, the Optum segment is expected to continue impacting earnings considering the company recently raised its annual net earnings outlook.

Earnings: Stockearning’s Estimated EPS is expected to be better than estimates considering the company has topped EPS estimates in all the last 12 quarters (100%). When the company released its Q2 result, it raised full-year net earnings guidance to between $17.35 and $17.85 per share with adjuted earnings ranging from $18.3 a to $18.8 per share. In the last quarter, the company reported earnings of $4.7 per share, topping estimates of $4.41 per share.

Revenue: The company posted revenue of $71.3 billion in Q2 2021, a 15% QoQ increase attributed to well-diversified growth at Unitedhealthcare and Optum subsidiaries. Optum revenue improved 17.2% YoY to $38.3 billion thanks to contribution from OptumHealth, OptumRx and OptumInsight. CEO Andrew Witty said that the company's colleagues' compassion, commitment, and efforts to help in health and system performance strengthens the company's resolve to deliver strong results.

Stock movement: Since the last earnings release, UnitedHealth shares have lost 1.5. Following the earnings release, share prices were UP25 times in the previous 47 quarters. So, the historical price reaction suggests a 53% chance of the stock going UP after earnings release. According to the Stockearning algorithm, the predicted stock move on the first day is 2%, and the predicted move on the seventh day is 4%.

What analysts are saying

SVB Leerink analyst Whit Mayo commenced coverage on UnitedHealth with a “Buy” rating and a price target of $480.

Also, Cowen analyst Gary Taylor initiated coverage in the stock with a "Buy" rating and a price target of $478.Taylor said that UnitedHealth's scale and diversification comprise a sustainable competitive edge in the health insurance sector. In addition, the analyst believes that UnitedHealth's diversified business model and potential OptumCare revenue upside are “undervalued.”

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Neha 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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