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Options Traders Eye CarMax Stock Before Earnings

·2 min read

CarMax Inc (NYSE:KMX) is one of the handful of companies announcing earnings this week, with its fiscal first-quarter earnings report due out before the open tomorrow, June 24. Analysts are expecting profits of $1.50 per share, and the options pits are pricing in a 12.1% post-earnings swing for KMX -- outpacing the average post-earnings move of 8.5% from the last two years.

Looking back, the stock has a dismal post-earnings history. CarMax stock finished higher after only one of its last eight next-day sessions -- a 6.7% gain 12 months ago. After its last three reports, KMX logged losses of 12.6%, 6.7%, and 9.5%, respectively.

Ahead of the event, the options activity are flashing ample activity on both sides of the aisle. At the session's halfway point, 2,449 calls and 2,461 puts have crossed the tape so far, with total options volume running at triple what's typically seen at this point. The July 90 call is the most popular by far, followed distantly by the 105 call in the same series.

A broader look shows options traders have never been more pessimistic toward CarMax stock, per its 50-day put/call volume ratio of 1.82 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which stands higher than 100% of readings from the past year. Echoing this, short-term options traders have rarely been more put-biased, according to KMX's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 6.48 that stands in the extremely elevated 95th percentile of readings from the last 12 months.

On the charts, a mid-June bear gap dragged KMX to close below the 60-day moving average, a trendline it had just managed to overcome after more than six months of pressure. As a result, the security has struggled with a ceiling at the $90 level for the better part of June. At last check, CarMax stock was down 1% to trade at $88.89, adding a dash to its 31.7% year-to-date deficit.

KMX Chart June 23
KMX Chart June 23