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Bulls score ahead of Dick's earnings

David Russell (david.russell@optionmonster.com)

Ahead of its earnings report this morning, some traders already had some giant profits in Dick's Sporting Goods at the end of last week.

optionMONSTER's Heat Seeker program detected unusual call buying in the specialty retailer on Friday. Activity focused on the March 50.50 and March 53 contracts. At the time the stock was down about 3 percent, battling to hold its 200-day moving average.

Then the buyers stepped in, and DKS proceeded to erase all its losses and end Friday up 0.48 percent to $50.60. But that was nothing compared with the gain in the options.

The March 50.50s, for instance, traded for $0.95 to $1.05 early but then shot up near $1.70 shortly before the close. The March 53s gained even more on a percentage basis because of their lower entry price, roughly doubling from the $0.30-$0.40 range.

Because they cheaply fix the price where shares can be bought, such long calls can generate significant leverage from even a small gain in the stock price. (See our Education section)

More than 3,700 contracts changed hands in the 50.50s, while the 53s turned over 2,500 times. That was more than twice previous open interest at each strike.

Total option volume in the name was 15 times greater than average in the session, with calls outnumbering puts by more than 3 to 1.

(A version of this post appeared on InsideOptions Pro yesterday.)

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