Intel has spent this year crushing the competition, gaining 26% since 2021 began, as opposed to 13% gains in the SMH semiconductor ETF. Options traders are betting that outperformance will continue when the company's earnings results cross the wire Thursday afternoon.
"Call option volume has significantly outpaced put option volume for the last month or so, and that was true again [Wednesday], with calls outpacing puts by about 2 to 1. The most active options were the weekly 67-strike calls, 9,600 of those were trading for about 44 cents," Optimize Advisors CIO Michael Khouw said Wednesday on CNBC's "Fast Money."
Those contracts expire Friday at a breakeven stock price of $67.44, which is about 6% higher than where Intel closed Wednesday's session.
While slightly further out of the money than the implied post-earnings move of 5.2% in either direction, this is by no means an outlandish bet to make. Over the last eight quarters, Intel's average post-earnings move has been about 8%.
Intel was trading about 1% lower in Thursday's session.