A Disney trade that could be magical

Disney reports its fiscal third-quarter earnings after the bell on Tuesday. But traders hoping to make bullish bets ahead of the event have a bit of a problem.

"We actually had a lot of news out in the media stocks already," said Mike Khouw of DASH Financial.

Analysts expect Disney to report 5 percent growth in revenue, and a 1 percent increase in earnings per share. But Comcast (which owns CNBC parent NBCUniversal) and CBS already reported earnings on Wednesday. Both companies beat analyst expectations, which put a bit of wind in Disney's sails, leading the stock to rise 2.6 percent from last Monday's open to Friday's close.

Walt Disney Co.
Getty Images

(Read more: Cable, content companies stop fighting: Comcast CEO)

For that reason, Khouw thinks media stocks have already made their earnings-related move.

Instead of specifically playing the earnings, then, Khouw says a better bullish bet is buying a longer-dated call on Disney.

(Read more: Why ESPN is key to Disney's upcoming earnings)

Specifically, Khouw suggests buying the January 70-strike call for $1.85. This trade makes money if Disney rises above $71.85 by January expiration.

If Disney shares close below $70 on January expiration, this trade will result in a loss of that $1.85 spent. But on the upside, this trade will capture the full value of any move above $71.85 in the stock.

—By CNBC's Alex Rosenberg. Follow him on Twitter: @CNBCAlex.

Follow the show on Twitter: @CNBCOptions.

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