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Nitin Gulati
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As a value driven investor, my investment approach is safe and cheap. I focus on investing in companies with extremely strong financial positions offering future growth at a discount. I take that same top-down approach and apply a synthesis of market implied growth rates in securities to isolate... More
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Dynamic World of Options &Volatility Trading
  • Can Google Rebound- Most Critical Earnings Event  0 comments
    Apr 16, 2014 8:50 AM | about stocks: GOOG, GOOGL

    Google (GOOG, GOOGL) is scheduled to report 1Q2014 earnings after the close of trading on Wednesday, April 16th. For the March Quarter, analysts are expecting earnings per share of $6.41 (Range: $6.00 -$6.83). For FY 2014, analysts are expecting revenue of $66.47 billion dollars implying 11.10 percent year over year growth.

    For the last 14 quarters, Google's stock has on an average moved 6 percent, next day after the earnings release. Table below presents how the options market has historically priced at-the-money straddle for Google before earnings (in percent terms, standard deviation terms, and the implied volatility levels). Also included in the table is volatility crush that happens in the options after the earnings are released.

    (click to enlarge)

    Heading into the earnings this week, the risk reflected by the options market (30 and 60 day implied volatility levels) is marginally lower than the all time highs levels seen last week. For the earnings event , options market is expecting a 5.85 percent move, which is close to the average move in the stock for the last 14 quarters. From an implied volatility perspective- ATM straddle seems overpriced, but appears to be priced fairly on an absolute move basis.

    Despite missing the consensus sales estimates in seven of the last nine quarterly reports, market has rewarded Google on the hopes of its multiple revenue streams in future. Besides, the strong growth reported by the Internet software and services industry lifted the growth expectations for Google as well. Decomposing Google Price/ Earning ratio reveals the growth premium built in its stock price. Google stock has lost 13 percent after making an all time highs earlier this year. Even at current market price levels future growth accounts for approximately 50 percent of Google's price.

    Implied volatility for long-term dated contracts in Google started to rise before the stock became a victim of momentum reversal in the technology sector. Implied through this divergence in volatility regime from the broader market is the magnification of risk in Google' stock beyond an earnings event.

    (click to enlarge)

    As the market unwinds the future growth premium from high growth stocks, any metric miss from Google can exacerbate the volatility in this stock for the next few months.

    Disclosure: I am short GOOG.

    Additional disclosure: Short Google via Sep Options

    Stocks: GOOG, GOOGL
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