Will Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) Deliver Poor Earnings?

Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) is a Seattle based e-commerce retailer and distributor, with additional market presence in online web services and digital content distribution. As of the time of this post (11:45 AM CST), AMZN is currently trading at 303.87, nearly flat on the day. The stock is currently trading firmly within the lower portion of its 52 week trading range of 284-406.25, and has remained in this relatively bearish consolidation area for most of the past year. The company is scheduled to report earnings today, 1/29/2015 after the market close.

Over the last eight quarters of earnings data available, AMZN has traded mostly bearishly, moving lower on five out eight sessions immediately following the EPS release. The average historical move during this same time period has been 7.9%, however it may be worth noting that AMZN has sold off after each of the last four consecutive earnings reports, posting an average move during this time period of -9.8%. Currently the options market is pricing in a slightly lower than average implied move of approximately 7.54% in the underlying stock based on the pricing of the at-the-money straddle, which would represent about a $23.00 change in the stock price by tomorrow’s weekly options expiration. On a technical basis, AMZN is currently trading below the downward sloping Ichimoku Cloud and between most of the relevant moving averages. In conjunction with AMZN’s recent tendency to sell off after earnings, I am definitely leaning bearish this name and will be looking to establish a short position before this afternoon’s report.

Potential Trade: Buying the AMZN Jan 30th Weekly 290-280 Put Spreads for $2.40
Risk: $240 per 1 lot
Reward: $760 per 1 lot
Breakeven: $287.60