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Yelp Options Buzzing Ahead Of Earnings After The Bell

Shares in Yelp are down more than 3.0% at $56.90 on Wednesday afternoon, just hours before the company is set to report first-quarter earnings. The impending earnings release has options volume on the stock running at approximately twice the average daily level, with more than 36,000 contracts traded on the stock as of 2:45 p.m. ET. The call/put ratio is hovering near 3.0 at present, largely due to heavy trading in regular May expiry $60 strike call options. Upwards of 14,800 of the $60 calls traded against open interest of just 1,878 contracts. It looks like most of the volume was purchased at a premium of $3.50 per contract, perhaps by one or more traders looking for glowing reviews from the company about its performance in the first quarter.

As is typically the case with options implied volatility in the aftermath of company earnings releases, the roughly 110% reading of implied volatility on the $60 calls as of the time of this writing may come off following Yelp’s quarterly report, which could drag down the premium on those contracts substantially overnight regardless of the direction shares take following the event. The price of the underlying will need to rip higher in order for the bullish position to make money at expiration next month. Specifically, the trade may be profitable at expiration if shares in Yelp rally nearly 12% over the current price to exceed a breakeven point at $63.50. Investors in Yelp have suffered in recent months, with the share price down more than 40% off a high of $101.75 reached on March 5th

Chart – Shares in YELP down more than 40% since 03/05/14


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