Amgen Gives Early Payday to the Bulls


Amgen reports earnings today, and some traders have already chalked up profits in the stock.

OptionMonster's tracking systems detected unusual activity in the February 80 calls, with buyers paying $2.91 to $2.97 early in the session. Long calls such as these lock in the price where investors can get buy stock, so they can generate big profits on a percentage basis in the event of a rally.

And that's exactly what happened yesterday in Amgen. The biotech giant started climbing shortly after the options traded, and those calls ended the session worth $4.10 — a gain of more than 35 percent. The stock rose less than 2 percent in the intervening hours, which illustrates the kind of leverage that options can provide.

Amgen, which was down slightly when the trades occurred, closed the session up 1.47 percent to $83.29. The stock fell on Jan. 8 after the company had cut its guidance because of a tax credit, but management remained sanguine over the longer term. That could be leading some investors to expect a positive report this afternoon.

Total option volume in the name was almost nine times greater than average in the session.

—By CNBC Contributor David Russell

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David Russell is a reporter and writer for OptionMonster. Russell has no positions in AMGN.