Options Action

Mystery trader bets Alphabet could run 11% by March ahead of earnings

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Looking ahead to Alphabet earnings

One options trader is going for Google.

As Alphabet, Google's parent company, prepares for its fourth-quarter earnings report on Monday, Tribeca Trade Group founder and CEO Christian Fromhertz is seeing bullish rumblings in the options market.

"Alphabet is the last of the FANG stocks to report," Fromhertz said Thursday on CNBC's "Options Action." "There's a little bit more call activity, 1.5 times more than puts right now, so, a little bit of bullish activity going into Monday's print."

While the options market's implied move, or expectation for Alphabet's post-earnings action, was 4.8%, roughly in line with the 4.5% historical average, one trader was betting on an even bigger climb for the technology name, Fromhertz said.

"We saw a buyer [on Thursday] of ... 200 March $1,580 calls, so, they're going out a little bit, and they're expecting about 11% move with that particular trade, which gets you back to 52-week highs for the name," he said. "This is a pretty small trade, but it kind of gives you a sense of how institutional money is positioning."

This mystery trader purchased the calls for $9 each. Alphabet shares fell nearly 1.5% in Thursday's trading session to around $1,432, roughly 5% off its 52-week high of 1,500.58.

"What I like in Google right now is the chart," Fromhertz said. "I love to see breakouts, especially out of consolidation, so I think what you want to do here with this is stick with the trend."

"Notice that it's a little bit lofty, it's gone up quite a bit, but it's checked back to the 20-day moving average," Fromhertz said. "Leaders of the market, sometimes they just don't give back that much more. So, I like the name here, and I would be a buyer if we happened to get a move back to the 50-day moving average as well."

Karen Finerman, the CEO and co-founder of Metropolitan Capital Advisors and a frequent "Fast Money" trader, hoped FANG counterpart Facebook's higher-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue would bode well for Alphabet.

"It's my biggest position," she said of Alphabet. "I'm long. It's ... a little less than 2%, off the high, but it's a volatile one. And the one thing that I really always want to see is some sort of additional capital allocation moves. They've been really slow to do it. They're starting to pick it up a little bit with that last buyback, but, hopefully, they're putting the money to work."

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