Will Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) Slide on Earnings?

Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) is a California based information technology and digital content provider, well known for its eponymous search engine, and also for high-profile acquisitions of popular services such as Flickr and Tumblr. At the time of this post (12:30PM CST), YHOO is currently trading at 48.37, down 2.16%. YHOO has been unable to avoid the downward pull of the overall market this morning on a significant gap down along with the indexes, but the stock still remains just off its 52 week highs in a trading range of 32.15-52.62 for the year. YHOO is scheduled to report earnings today, 1/27/2015 after the market close.

Over the last eight quarters of earnings data available, YHOO has traded mostly bearishly, moving lower on five out of eight sessions immediately following the EPS release. The average historical move during this same time period was 4.9%. Currently the options market is pricing in almost double the historical average, reflecting an implied move of about 9.12% based on the current pricing of the at-the-money straddle. This would imply about a $4.40 move in the underlying stock by this Friday’s weekly options expiration. Although on a technical basis YHOO remains inside the upward sloping Ichimoku Cloud on a daily chart, the stock has been unable to rally and hold above the key 50.00 level resistance and has pulled back sharply off these levels so far in 2015. With questions abound regarding how Yahoo! will manage their stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (also reporting earnings this Thursday), I remain skeptical of the company’s ability to appease investors, and in conjunction with YHOO’s propensity to sell off after earnings, I am leaning bearish this name going into today’s EPS report. I will be looking to establish a short position in YHOO going into today’s close.

Potential Trade: Buying the YHOO Jan 30th Weekly 45-44 Put Spreads for $0.25
Risk: $25 per 1 lot
Reward: $75 per 1 lot
BReakeven: $44.75