Trading Nation

Twitter shares are soaring, and the stock could see a bigger move when it reports this week

Here's what to expect when Twitter, up 76% this year, reports earnings

Twitter shares surged 5 percent on Wednesday, placing the stock on track for its best day since mid-June.

The move comes ahead of its quarterly earnings report on Friday morning; the options market is predicting a double-digit move for shares of the social media platform. Twitter has surged a whopping 84 percent in 2018.

Stacey Gilbert, head of derivative strategy at Susquehanna, told CNBC’s “Trading Nation” on Tuesday that Twitter’s move is expected to be relatively in line with previous quarters, even after its big run in recent months. Here’s why.

• The options market is pricing in a move somewhere between 11 and 12 percent, which is more or less in line with how Twitter shares have moved on a close-to-close basis over the last couple of years.

• In the past, Twitter shares have seen a large range of moves on earnings, anywhere from essentially unchanged to a swing of around 19 percent. In the past two years, the average move on earnings has been just over 10 percent, and the average move in the last year has been nearly 12 percent.

• Notably, even with the stock’s monster year-to-date performance, the market is not pricing in increased risk for the stock heading into the report. From a fundamental perspective, Susquehanna Internet analyst Shyam Patil covers Twitter with a neutral rating. Metrics he’s watching for are continued user engagement and monetization, particularly in live video.

• Investors could look to buying puts for protection, whether it be specific to this earnings report or even a little bit further out to protect into year-end.

Analysts on average are expecting earnings of 16 cents per share, according to FactSet data.

Bottom line: Even after Twitter’s huge gain this year, Gilbert said the options market is not pricing in increased risk for the stock heading into earnings.