New Trade – $CIEN: Optical Infusion

by Enis June 3, 2014 2:47 pm • Commentary

I posted my thoughts on CIEN in today’s earnings preview.  The stock is one of the worst performers in the Nasdaq so far in 2014, down more than 20%.  Thursday morning’s earnings event is a key catalyst for the stock after the severe decline of the last 3 months.

This was my conclusion from the preview:    

CIEN has had a mighty fall in the past 3 months, with the stock losing nearly a third of its value.  That has occurred without a major catalyst, though the overall profit backdrop for CIEN looks more challenging after its tepid guidance in the prior quarter and the relatively weak Q2 spending environment for telecoms (especially AT&T).

Yet, CIEN’s stock decline has priced in an awful lot of bad news, and the stock sits near the $18 support level, which is a big spot.  Risk/reward here seems to favor the bulls.  Since implied volatility is quite high, if we do do a bullish structure, it will likely be a structure that looks to take advantage of elevated front month premium.  We’ll be sure to update by tomorrow’s close if we pull the trigger.

With that in mind, I put on the following trade:

TRADE:  CIEN ($18.73) Bought June/Oct 20 Call Calendar for $0.99

-Sold to open 1 June 20 Call at 0.55

-Bought to open 1 Oct 20 call for 1.54

Break-Even on June Expiration:

-Profits are maximized at 20 on June expiration. Slight moves above and below that strike are also profitable with big moves higher or lower putting the structure at risk of losses on expiration.

-Max risk is 0.99

Rationale:  Given my view that the risk/reward is skewed to the upside rather than the downside, I put on an upside call calendar.  However, I don’t have a ton of conviction on the earnings event itself, so I bought October calls instead of near-dated July calls against the short June call position, which is a lower risk trade since the October calls will hold their value better if CIEN falls below $18 after earnings.