Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Earnings Heads-up: Allstate Insurance (ALL)

The company will be releasing numbers tomorrow after the close.
Although it ended down 4.40% at $33.27 on Tuesday there was an odd little item in the Wall Street Journal regarding Monday's action:

...Trading in Allstate rose to five times the normal level as investors picked up 75,000 calls and just 2,000 puts, according to Trade Alert. Calls convey the right to buy a stock, while puts convey the right to sell it.

A good chunk of the volume took place midway through the session, when one trader took steps to adjust a bullish position in Allstate's July contracts. After backing out of July $37 calls, which had been acquired in previous sessions, the trader purchased July $40 calls.

With the shares advancing more than 20% since early February, the trader appeared to be cashing out of a bullish bet, while retaining hope that the stock can rise even higher.

Allstate shed 39 cents, or 1.1%, to $34.80 on the NYSE. The company is to report first-quarter earnings on Wednesday....