Options Traders Line Up Bullish Bets as Microsoft Gets Ready to Report Earnings

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Bullish options traders made their voices heard this week as Microsoft managed to claw back from losses of more than 5% to close in the green.

Bearish bets decidedly outpaced bullish bets on the tech giant, which reports earnings after the bell on Tuesday, in the first half of the day Monday, with May 210-puts emerging as the most popular strike. However, as the day wore on and Microsoft began its comeback, sentiment in the options market quickly changed.

"We did see calls outpacing puts by [a ratio of] about 3-to-2," Optimize Advisors CIO Michael Khouw said Monday on CNBC's "Fast Money."

"The four most active options were all weekly calls. The most active of those were the Jan. 28 weekly 300-calls. We saw over 27,000 of those trading for $4.84 [in premium]. Buyers of those calls are risking just over 1.6% of the closing stock price to bet that the stock will finish higher after they report earnings," Khouw said.

Those call contracts, which expire this coming Friday, have a break-even underlying stock price of $304.84. That's just about 3% higher than where Microsoft closed Monday's session, or half of the magnitude of the stock's implied move between now and Friday's close.

Not only did call contracts eventually outpace the trading volume of put contracts in Microsoft during Monday's session, but calls made up all of the top four most active contracts in the name by the time the closing bell rang.

Microsoft was trading about 3% lower in Tuesday's session.


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