These five stocks could soon see huge moves on earnings

Stock market adrenaline junkies are in luck.

Several companies reporting earnings over the next two weeks are expected to see big moves on their results. Among large companies, the ones expected to see the largest pops or drops are Groupon, Weight Watchers, Yelp, Twilio and Snap, according to MKM Partners derivatives strategist Jim Strugger.

"If you're looking for real action in earnings over the next couple weeks, these are the five names to focus on," Strugger said Friday on CNBC's "Trading Nation."

Among those, Groupon is the biggest wildcard. Options prices currently imply an earnings move of 15 percent for the online discount company.

That said, this would actually count as mild for the company. Over the past eight quarters, Groupon's average move on results has been a whopping 21 percent.

As a research note written by Wedbush analyst Aaron Turner in May explains: "We believe the company continues to make solid progress on its restructuring plan, but expect further volatility in the near term. From our view, the company is executing very well on the initiatives it can control … however the recovery path has been non-linear on a quarter to quarter basis which we believe may persist until the company reaches steady state."

Options traders appear to be firmly of the view that this "steady state" has not yet been reached.

To be sure, Groupon is not the only one of those five stocks that has suffered its share of troubles.

"It's a pretty rough list. I mean, a lot of those are facing some reckoning," AdvisorShares portfolio manager Eddy Elfenbein said Friday on "Trading Nation."

Among the names, Elfenbein sees the strongest case for investing in social media company Snap, which closed the week 44 percent below the level at which it closed on its March IPO day.

"Almost everything has gone wrong with this company, and there's a huge short interest out there," he said. "In the very near term and as a very speculative trade, I think it is one worth going in to."

The big move expected in Snap is not merely a function of the earnings report it is expected to release on August 10, but also of the end of the company's share lockup period on Monday.

While the potential for more investors to sell their shares is clearly spooking traders, Strugger sided with Elfenbein in recommending that the brave take the other side at that point.

"Next week might be a nice little catalyst as this lockup expires," Strugger said. "We'd actually, on the speculative front, get some long the name and buy some calls out in September to play for some upside."

The way strategists gauge expected moves is by summing the cost of bullish call options and of bearish put options that both expire just after earnings. Since the purchaser of both options contracts would make money so long as the underlying stock either rose or fell by more than the total cost of the trade, this cost can be seen as the magnitude of the move that traders collectively expect to see.

Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal is an investor in Snap.


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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

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