Saturday, April 19, 2008

Earnings Season: Like Goin' to Vegas

As earnings season was in full force over the past week, investors were taken for a ride on a bucking bull.

I had a lot of fun and made a little money at the craps table, er, I mean, playing options of companies releasing earnings.

Early in the week, I took a bullish stance on Intel; they pleased the street and I came out ahead. Later, I also placed a bullish bet on eBay, but their earnings were not lauded by analysts (though I liked the release; more on that in another post). Thankfully, a 15% OTM put on SunPower (SPWR) just touched the moneyline, making my options worth something. (Side note: I'm very short-term bearish on solar stocks; I'll post about that later too.) On Thursday, I made two bets, on E*Trade and Citi, which both ended up being slightly profitable; however, I passed on the biggest surprise of the week, the company that owns the internet, Google.

I was looking at Google options but ultimately decided it would probably be like throwing money away. After all, the level I was looking at $490 or $500 calls) were $50 out of the money - I thought that they would surely expire worthless, even if the report was good.

I was wrong, and it hurt. The $60 contract of $500 April calls sold for between $2,500 and $4,700 on Friday. Lots of wealth changed hands in the way-out-of-the-money contracts; what was selling for dollars or pennies on Thursday was worth 50-100x as much Friday. However, as a (self-proclaimed) long-term investor, I have to look past such fanciful missed opportunities and focus on the future.

Lots of companies still have to report their quarters over the coming weeks. I will post individual thoughts, analysis, and predictions concerning the coming days, or even specific companies.

What did I promise again? A bearish writeup about solar stocks, individual earnings predictions... I'll also tease and say I'm going to write about the attractive value of PetroChina - keep checking back all week for the frequent updates.

Companies reporting that I'm eyeing up this week:

Monday: BAC, NFLX
Friday: HMC

I'm expecting good news from some, and bad from others. Let's crank up the guessing machine.
"I trade with TradeKing: $4.95 stock and options trades, plus lots of tools. It's simply the best way to invest. Click here to find out more.

No comments:

Search StudentStocks or the web. Thanks for your support!