After dropping sharply at the open the indexes battled back to even but it was uninspiring. It was a triple digit rebound for the Dow but the index only managed to gain 59 points at the close. The Nasdaq struggled to only lose 3 points and the S&P pulled out a minor 5 point gain. Given the 700 point Dow drop intraday on Monday, we should have had a decent rebound today. It did not appear and trading was erratic. Volume was moderate at 6.9 billion shares. We could still have a rebound on Thursday since the indexes failed to give up much ground today. That may provide some encouragement to the bulls.
Stop Loss Updates
Check the graphic below for any new stop losses in bright yellow.
We need to always be prepared for an unexpected decline.
Check the graphic below for any profit stops in green.
We need to always be prepared for a profit exit at resistance.
Current Position Changes
CVLT - Commvault
The long position was stopped at $68.85.
NTNX - Nutanix
The long position was stopped at $49.85.
V - Visa
The long position was stopped at $120.50.
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Full updates on all plays on Wednesday and Saturday. Only closed plays are updated on other days.
BULLISH Play Updates
CVLT - Commvault - Company Profile
No specific news. Just enough decline with the market to stop us out.
Original Trade Description: March 21st.
Commvault is a leading provider of data protection, cloud and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate and drive more value and business insight out of their data. With solutions and services delivered directly and through a worldwide network of partners and service providers, Commvault solutions comprise one of the industry's leading portfolios in data protection and recovery, cloud, virtualization, archive, file sync and share. Commvault has earned accolades from customers and third party influencers for its technology vision, innovation, and execution as an independent and trusted expert. Without the distraction of a hardware business or other business agenda, Commvault's sole focus on data management has led to adoption by companies of all sizes, in all industries, and for solutions deployed on premise, across mobile platforms, to and from the cloud, and provided as-a-service. Commvault employs more than 2,700 highly- skilled individuals across markets worldwide. Company info from Commvault.
The amount of data stored in computer systems doubles every six months and all that data has to be backed up, normally in several different places. Enterprise customers need to be able to access archived data, ensure its redundancy and analyze the data contained in these massive databases. This is no longer a task for home grown backup systems. Enterprise customers have to have a reliable suite of applications to manage this valuable resource.
Commvault recently partnered with HP Enterprise to be park of their enterprise suite of products. This is going to further expand their market share and name recognition.
The missed by a penny on Q4 earnings and shares tanked. They quickly recovered and appear poised to break out again.
Update 4/11: Comvault announced expanded migration, management, protection and activation of data on Microsoft Azure Stack.
Update 4/21: Comvault extended data protection for government customers using the Amazon cloud. According to Comvault, "Now U.S. government agencies, System Integrators (SI) and private sector contractors can move, manage and use cloud-based data and workloads with increased security, speed, flexibility and reliability."
Closed 4/25: Long May $60 call @ $2.60, exit $8.50, +$5.90 gain.
DXCM - DexCom - Company Profile
No specific news. Very minor decline.
Original Trade Description: April 1st.
DexCom, Inc., a medical device company, focuses on the design, development, and commercialization of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems in the United States and internationally. The company offers its systems for ambulatory use by people with diabetes; and for use by healthcare providers. Its products include DexCom G5 mobile continuous glucose monitoring system to communicate directly to patient's mobile device; DexCom G4 PLATINUM system for continuous use by adults with diabetes; and DexCom Share, a remote monitoring system. DexCom, Inc. has a collaboration and license agreement with Verily Life Sciences LLC to develop a series of next-generation CGM products. The company markets its products directly to endocrinologists, physicians, and diabetes educators. DexCom, Inc. was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in San Diego, California. Company description from FinViz.com.
DexCom is the leader in continuous glucose monitoring. Last week the FDA approved a new device called the DexCom G6 CGM System. This device can be used by itself of in conjunction with other devices like automated insulin dosing systems. This is the first device of its type to be approved by the FDA.
The features include:
No more finger pricks for testing.
A 28% lower profile than other CGM devices.
Acetaminophen blocking for no medication interference.
Predictive low blood sugar alerts to prevent hypoglycemia before it occurs.
Extended 10-day sensor, 43% longer than prior sensors.
Automatically sends glucose readings to a monitor or smart phone/watch every 5 minutes.
Mobile app sends the monitoring information to up to 5 people.
Customizable alarms and alerts for high and low blood sugar.
I am not a diabetic but I read several comments from diabetics who were praising this device. Analysts believe this could translate into millions of patient upgrades in the coming years. LINK
Investors appear to be excited by the news with the stock rising for the last month with very little volatility related to the market. They are up $20 over that period but are showing no signs of exhaustion. The FDA approval was last Wednesday. Shares are at resistance at $75 and a breakout here could see an extended rally.
Update 4/4/18: Everything was going very well until Goldman Sachs initiated coverage with a sell rating and Guggenheim initiated with a neutral rating on Wednesday. Shares declined -$2.50 on the new coverage. The new coverage was skillfully done with the stock at the resistance highs.
Long June $80 call @ $3.20, initial stop loss $68.35.
JPM - JP Morgan - Company Profile
No specific news. Yields on the 10-year rose to 3.02% and financials should have been positive but the market was mixed on earnings surprises.
Original Trade Description: February 17th
JPMorgan Chase & Co. operates as a financial services company worldwide. It operates through Consumer & Community Banking, Corporate & Investment Bank, Commercial Banking, and Asset & Wealth Management segments. The Consumer & Community Banking segment offers deposit and investment products and services to consumers; lending, deposit, and cash management and payment solutions to small businesses; residential mortgages and home equity loans; and credit cards, payment services, payment processing services, auto loans and leases, and student loans. The Corporate & Investment Bank segment provides investment banking products and services, including advising on corporate strategy and structure, and capital-raising in equity and debt markets, as well as loan origination and syndication; treasury services, such as cash management and liquidity solutions; and cash securities and derivative instruments, risk management solutions, prime brokerage, and research services. It also offers securities services, including custody, fund accounting and administration, and securities lending products for asset managers, insurance companies, and public and private investment funds. The Commercial Banking segment offers financial solutions, including lending, treasury, investment banking, and asset management to corporations, municipalities, financial institutions, and nonprofit entities, as well as financing to real estate investors and owners. The Asset & Wealth Management segment provides investment and wealth management services across various asset classes, such as equities, fixed income, alternatives, and money market funds; multi-asset investment management services; retirement services; and brokerage and banking services comprising trusts, estates, loans, mortgages, and deposits. JPMorgan Chase & Co. was founded in 1799 and is headquartered in New York, New York. Company description from FinViz.com.
Banks make money by acquiring deposits and paying minimum interest rates while lending the money out at higher rates. When interest rates rise the rates on the loans match the jump in rates but the interest paid on deposits creeps up at a slower rate. For a bank like JP Morgan or Citigroup, each quarter point rise in rates is worth hundreds of millions of dollars in interest. The Fed is expected to hike rates at least 3 times in 2018 and possibly 4 times for a full 1% increase. This is a goldmine for JP Morgan.
In the past, the Fed has always believed that the ideal interest rate is 2% above the core rate of inflation. With the core rate approaching 2% that means a 4% Fed funds rate, which equates to a lending rate for banks at about 6%. Since the banks are coming off a Fed rate of less than 1% and doing well at those levels, a jump to 2.25% by the end of 2018 would double their interest income.
None of this is really important for a short term option trade but investors buy stocks for the future. JPM has a fortress balance sheet and They stand to make billions from the Fed rate hike cycle. That means JPM is a buy today and we are going to jump in before they make a new high.
With Jay Powell providing testimony to the House on Feb 28th, the focus for the next week will be on what he might say about raising rates. Those expectations should cause bank stocks to rise. The next Fed meeting is March 20/21st and they are widely expected to hike at that meeting. That expectation should lift bank stocks ahead of that meeting.
I considered using the April options. However, with the potential for market volatility, it would be better to use the June strikes because they will hold their value longer. We will exit this position before earnings. We are buying time but we are not going to use it.
Update 2/28/18: On Tuesday, the CFO raised the outlook on earnings saying pretax profits could rise by 17.5% annually over the next several years. He said pretax net income could rise to a range of $44-$47 billion over three years, up from $24 billion in 2017.
Update 3/7/18: However, because of their past relationship JPM probably has a lead in the move by Amazon to establish hybrid checking accounts with the Amazon brand. The company sent out requests for proposals earlier this year but JPM probably has a head start since they have already partnered with Amazon on the health care project.
Update 3/16/18: It was 10-years ago Friday that JP Morgan announced it was buying Bear Stearns for $2 a share. This was less than the value of the Bear Stearns real estate. JPM along with the Fed kept the bank from imploding completely but began an 8-year series of litigations that cost JPM billions. In the end the acquisition of the traders and clients propelled JP Morgan to overtake Goldman Sachs as the biggest trader in bonds. While the acquisition was painful it has helped increase JPM's annual profits from $14 billion to $24 billion over the last ten years.
Update 4/14/18: The bank reported earnings that rose 35% to an all time high on a 10% increase in revenue. The company reported earnings of $2.37 that beat estimates for $2.28. Net revenue was $28.52 billion beating estimates for $27.68 billion. Net interest income rose 9% to $13.5 billion. Lower revenue from investment banking (-7%) was a serious drag on performance.
Long June $120 call @ $3.17, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.
KFY - Korn Ferry Intl - Company Profile
No specific news. Only a minor 12 cent decline.
Original Trade Description: April 21st.
Korn/Ferry International, together with its subsidiaries, provides talent management solutions worldwide. It operates through three segments: Executive Search, Hay Group, and Futurestep. The company provides executive recruitment services that are used to fill executive-level positions, such as board directors, chief executive officers, chief financial officers, chief operating officers, chief information officers, chief human resource officers, and other senior executive officers for clients in the consumer, financial services, industrial, life sciences/healthcare provider, technology, and educational/not-for-profit industries. It also offers talent strategy, succession management, and leadership development, as well as rewards, motivation, and engagement solutions to assist clients with their ongoing assessment, compensation, and leadership development efforts. In addition, the company provides various talent acquisition solutions, including recruitment process outsourcing, project recruitment, professional search, talent consulting and employer branding, and individual professional search and consulting services. It serves public and private companies, and middle market and emerging growth companies, as well as government and non-profit organizations. Korn/Ferry International was founded in 1969. Company description from FinViz.com.
Earnings expected on June 5th.
The company reported Q4 earnings of 70-cents that beat estimates for 59 cents. Revenue was $447.6 million and beat estimates for $416.5 million. They guided for the current quarter for earnings of 69-73 cents with revenue of $448-$462 million. Analysts were expecting $436.9 million.
With the earnings, the CEO stated clearly their current mission. "Today Korn Ferry is truly a global organizational consulting firm. We help companies design their organization - the structure, the roles and responsibilities, as well as how they compensate, develop and motivate their people. As importantly, we help organizations select and hire the talent they need to execute their strategy."
When you hear that Nike terminated 9 of their top level employees you can bet they are turning to Korn Ferry for help in replacing them. This is the top level go to company for executive search and placement.
With employment very tight, a company cannot just place an ad in a newspaper. Top level people are not hired from the paper. They are shopped, tracked and monitored throughout their entire career.
The company is benefitting from the tight labor market and business has never been better.
Long June $55 call @ $2.00, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.
NTNX - Nutanix Inc - Company Profile
No specific news. Big drop with the Nasdaq to stop us out.
Original Trade Description: April 1st.
Nutanix is a global leader in cloud software and hyperconverged infrastructure solutions, making infrastructure invisible so that IT can focus on the applications and services that power their business. Companies around the world use Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS software to bring one-click application management and mobility across public, private and distributed edge clouds so they can run any application at any scale with a dramatically lower total cost of ownership. The result is organizations that can rapidly deliver a high-performance IT environment on demand, giving application owners a true cloud-like experience. Company description from Nutanix.
The company posted a net loss of 39 cents compared to 54 cents in the year ago quarter. Free cash flow rose from $7.1 million to $32.4 million. Revenue rose 44% to $286.7 million while billings rose 57% to $227.4 million. They had 8,870 customers at the end of the quarter, a 65% increase. The number of customers billing more than $1 million a year rose 33% to 541.
In late March Goldman Sachs removed Nutanix from their conviction buy list because of the strong gains. Shares faded with the market but have now begun to rebound.
Update 4/18: The company said 74% of federal government customers had switched to the AHV hypervisor in 2017. Enterprise cloud OS nodes sold to federal agencies are leveraging AHV compared to 30% adoption worldwide. The company said they signed 20 new federal government customers with billings of more than $1 million each in 2017. That was an 82% increase from the prior year. Shares closed at a new high.
Closed 4/25: Long June $57.50 call @ $4.27, exit $2.50, -1.77 loss.
Closed 4/25: Short June $70 call @ $1.32, exit .60, +.72 gain
Net loss $1.05.
RHT - Red Hat - Company Profile
No specific news. Big drop at the open with the Nasdaq but recovered most of it.
Original Trade Description: April 11th.
Red Hat, Inc. provides open source software solutions to develop and offer operating system, virtualization, management, middleware, cloud, mobile, and storage technologies to various enterprises worldwide. It offers infrastructure-related solutions, such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux, an operating system platform that runs on hardware for use in hybrid cloud environments; Red Hat Satellite, a system management offering that helps to deploy, scale, and manage in hybrid cloud environments; and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, a software solution that allows customers to utilize and manage a common hardware infrastructure to run multiple operating systems and applications. The company offers application development-related and other technology solutions, such as Red Hat JBoss Middleware, a solution for developing, deploying, and managing applications; integrating applications, data, and devices; and automating business processes in hybrid cloud environments; Red Hat cloud offerings, a software solution that enables customers to build and manage various cloud computing environments; Red Hat Mobile, a software development platform that enables customers to develop, integrate, deploy, and manage mobile applications for enterprises; and Red Hat Storage, a software solution that enables customers to manage large, unstructured, or semi-structured data in hybrid cloud environments. It also provides consulting, support, and training services; and real-time operating system, distributed computing, directory services, and user authentication. Red Hat, Inc. has a collaboration with Wipro Limited to set up a cloud application factory that offers developers and IT teams a methodology for application modernization across public, private, and hybrid clouds. The company was formerly known as Red Hat Software, Inc. and changed its name to Red Hat, Inc. in June 1999. Red Hat, Inc. was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina. Company description from FinViz.com.
Red Hat saw revenue rise 22.8% to $772.3 million in Q4 to beat estimates of $753 million. Earnings of 91 cents beat estimates by 10 cents. The company raised revenue guidance for Q1 but maintained earnings guidance. BMO raised the target price to $180 and Stifel boosted their price to $172.
Shares broke through strong resistance at $156 on Tuesday to close at a new high but gave back a little in Wednesday's weak market.
Red Hat has a great chart over the last year and now that it is in new high territory, the gains should continue. This is a true growth stock in the tech sector.
Long June $165 call @ $4.70, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.
Optional Short June $175 call @ $2.10, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.
Net debit $2.60.
V - Visa - Company Profile
Visa reported earnings of $1.11 compared to estimates for $1.01. Revenue of $4.07 billion beat estimates for $4.81 billion. The company raised guidance for the full year from high single digit revenue growth to low double digits. Shares dropped at the open to stop us out.
Original Trade Description: February 8th
Visa Inc. operates as a payments technology company worldwide. The company facilitates commerce through the transfer of value and information among consumers, merchants, financial institutions, businesses, strategic partners, and government entities. It operates VisaNet, a processing network that enables authorization, clearing, and settlement of payment transactions; and offers fraud protection for account holders and assured payment for merchants. The company also offers gateway services for merchants to accept, process, and reconcile payments; manage fraud; and safeguard payment security online, as well as processing services for participating issuers of visa debit, prepaid, and ATM payment products. In addition, it provides digital products, including Visa Checkout that offers consumers an expedited, and secure payment experience for online transactions; and Visa Direct, a push payment product platform, that allows businesses, governments, and consumers to use the Visa network to transfer funds from an originating account to another via a debit, prepaid, or credit card number, as well as Visa token service that replaces the card account numbers from the transaction with a token. Further the company offers corporate (travel) and purchasing card products, as well as value-added services. It provides its services under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink, V PAY, and PLUS brands. Visa Inc. was incorporated in 2007 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California. Company description from FinViz.com.
Update 4/18: Visa declared a 21-cent quarterly dividend payable June 5th to holders on May 18th.
Position 2/9/18 with a Visa trade at $112.50:
Closed 4/25: Long June $120 Call @ $4.15, exit $4.58, +.43 gain.
BEARISH Play Updates (Alpha by Symbol)
No Current Puts
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