Shares: CTLT

Catalent Inc. (CTLT)

I have entered an earnings play using shares on CTLT, which publishes its earnings report on Feb. 5 before the opening bell.

sym entry exit result ($) result (%) entry date exit date
CTLT 43.42 1/22
zacks rank zacks esp FisherTrans FT cross earns est. earns actual
3 1.17 1 1/19 0.34

By Tim Bovee, Portland, Oregon, Jan. 22, 2018

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Trade Selection

Regular readers will have noticed that I have made significant changes in how I select trades over the last month or so. Here’s my method as of January 2018.

I’m looking at three metrics: The Zacks earnings surprise predictor (ESP) and the Zacks rank to assess the professional analysts’ opinion of the stock’s prospects, and the Fisher Transform trend metric to assess the trend, up or down, which is as indirect way of assessing trader and broader public sentiment. For this method, the Fisher is uptrending if its present level is higher than its one unit prior level on the daily chart and downtrending if the present level is below the one before. The trend is given on my spreadsheets as a 1 (uptrending) or a -1 (identical or downtrending).

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Shares: IT

Gartner Inc. (IT)

I have entered a shares position using shares on IT, which publishes earnings on Feb.1. My intent is to exit by Jan. 31.

sym entry exit result ($) result (%) entry date exit date
IT 137.91 1/22
zacks rank zacks esp FisherTrans FT cross earns est. earns actual
3 1.40 1 1/12 1.28

By Tim Bovee, Portland, Oregon, Jan. 22, 2018

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The Week Ahead: GDP, durables, global trade

First off, a giant caveat. The shut down of the U.S. government that began Saturday may have an impact on reporting. Until Congress reaches a deal on funding the government, everything is up in the air.

If things proceed as planned, the first gross domestic product numbers detailing the 4th quarter will be published on Friday at 8:30 a.m. New York time, simultaneously with another major report, durable goods orders.

Two real estate reports will be released: existing home sales on Wednesday and new home sales on Thursday, each at 10 a.m.

Also out, international trade in goods on Thursday at 8:30 a.m.

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Shares: ETH

Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. (ETH)

ETH, which publishes earnings on Jan. 24 before the opening bell, a day ago turned up on the Fisher Transform metric as applied to the four-hour chart, and the daily chart is moving in the direction of an upward trending metric.  I entered a position using shares with the goal of exiting prior to the earnings announcement.

sym entry exit result ($) result (%) entry date exit date
ETH 27.00 1/19
zacks rank zacks esp
FisherTrans (day)
FT cross (4 hour)
earns est. earns actual
2 0.68 -0.63 1/18 0.52

By Tim Bovee, Portland, Oregon, Jan. 19, 2018

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LVS Analysis

Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS)

Update 1/22/2018: With earnings two das away, LVS gapped up at the opening bell, as it had the first day of the week before, and the week before that. This week Monday’s opening price was $1.53 above Friday’s close, bringing my options position into profitability. I exited at 43.6% of maximum potential profit, with the Fisher Transform metric still uptrending on both the daily and 4-hour charts.

Shares rose by 3.2% over my four-day holding period, or a +294% annual rate. The options position produced a 77.5% return for a +7,059% annual rate.


I have entered a  bull put vertical spread on LVS, using options that trade for the last time 15 days hence, on Feb. 2. The premium is a $0.94 credit and the stock at the time of entry was priced at $74.18.

I made the decision to enter the trade in my account based on an uptrend on the Fisher Transform metric and a high earnings surprise predictor score (ESP) of 2.16% from Zacks

The profit zone for this position is $71.97 and up.

LVS publishes earnings on Jan. 24 before the opening bell.
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Shares: PGR

The Progressive Corp. (PGR)

I have entered an earnings play on PGR using shares. The company publishes earnings on Jan. 24 before the opening bell, and I must exit by Tuesday, Jan. 23 if I am to avoid holding through the earnings announcement.

sym entry exit result ($) result (%) entry date exit date
PGR 57.02 1/18
zacks rank zacks esp FisherTrans FT cross earns est. earns actual
1 0.52 1.09 1/12/2018 0.77

By Tim Bovee, Portland, Oregon, Jan. 18, 2018

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Live: Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018

1/18 – 1:45 p.m. New York time

I’ve entered a bull put spread on LVS

1/18 – 11:30 a.m. New York time

With the advent of earnings season, I have many prospects to work with, especially those using options, which can be traded using a bull, bear or neutral strategy. Shares plays, by contrast, can only be bullish under the restrictions imposed by the no-fee brokerage Robinhood.

I had one potential earnings play using shares remaining after this morning’s analysis, and I have taken the trade, entering a bull position on PGR. The other shares possibility of Wednesday, ETH, turned down and so is no longer a prospect.

I eight potential earnings plays using options, and my goal is to trade one of them.  My first focus will first be on the four whose metrics point toward a directional trade, using a vertical spread. They are LVS and TXN to the bull side and CMCSA and F to the bear side.

If none of those proves satisfactory, I shall next turn to the four whose metrics favor a directional neutral strategy, such as an iron fly or iron condor. They are ITW and PG, which are trending upward, and ABT and NSC, which are trending downward.

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