Expect Apple (AAPL) to Move on Q1 Results? Try This Trade to Profit

January 23, 2013 9:47 AM EST
When it comes to playing Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) first-quarter 2013 earnings report, you have options.


Barron's noted that Apple stock option prices are elevated into the tape on anticipation of a wide move following results. This is what typically happens into a big event as traders expect more volatility in shares.

However, Barron's also thinks playing the $500 straddle -- buying both a call and put -- with expiration this Friday might be a smart play. Reasoning behind the suggestion is that over 6,000 contracts of the strategy have clicked through, possibly hinting that the market is actually underpricing a wild move following results.

As of Tuesday's close, the straddle was priced for a $40 up or down move on the news. (Currently, the market has whittled that down to about $34.)

Apple typically sees heavy call buying and heavy put selling as most have expected a rally following results. Barron's notes that recent action is unusual for Apple into results. Should shares follow a similar pattern, put volatility might collapse from 97 percent down to about 35 percent, profiting for investors in the process.

Given recent sentiment in Apple where even great might not be good enough, this could be a trade to watch. Apple is up modestly Wednesday morning.

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