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Earnings Trader
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COI Earnings Trader Issue: May 22, 2023

Weekly Earnings Commentary

Our focus this week will be on Lowe’s (LOW), Nvidia (NVDA) and Costco (COST).

We had another successful trade last week, albeit a small one, a one-day 4.2% gain in Walmart (WMT). In total we’ve placed seven trades this earnings season, with a cumulative loss of -6.7%. With one week left on the earnings calendar, we have two to three more opportunities to bring our near earnings cycle return back to breakeven for this cycle or possibly into positive territory.

Our overall return is 38.8% – as I stated last week, certainly nothing to write home about, but also no complaints as we thankfully sit in positive territory during what has been an incredibly challenging market for all participants over the past year.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email me at

Weekly Watchlist

  • Lowe’s (LOW)
  • Nvidia (NVDA)
  • Costco (COST)

Top Earnings Options Plays

Here are a few top earnings options plays for this week (5/22-5/26) if you are so inclined:


Images Courtesy of Slope of Hope

Trade Ideas for Next Week

As a reminder, you will quickly begin to notice I tend to stick with stocks that have high liquidity as it’s far easier to get in and out of a trade. Medium liquidity offers tradable options, but sometimes the bid-ask spread is wider, which means a greater potential for more price adjustments, making entering and exiting a trade difficult from time to time. Remember, there are roughly 3,200 tradable stocks with options and 11% have medium liquidity while only 3% have what’s considered high liquidity.

Potential Trade Ideas for This Week

Costco (COST)

Costco (COST) is due to announce earnings Thursday after the closing bell.

The stock is currently trading for 496.52.

  • IV Rank: 20.6
  • IV: 26.3%

Expected Move for the May 26, 2023, Expiration Cycle: 480 to 515

Knowing the expected range, I want to place the short call strike and short put strike of my iron condor outside of the expected range, in this case outside of 480 to 515.

If we look at the call side of COST for the June 2, 2023, expiration, we can see that selling the 525 call strike offers an 89.38% probability of success. The 525 call strike sits just above the expected move, or 515.


Now let us move to the put side. Same process as the call side. But now we want to find a suitable strike below the low side of our expected move, or 480. The 460 put, with an 89.91% probability of success, works.


We can create a trade with a nice probability of success if COST stays within the 65-point range, or between the 525 call strike and the 460 put strike. Our probability of success on the trade is 89.38% on the upside and 89.91% on the downside.

Moreover, we have a 5.7% cushion to the upside and a 7.4% margin of error to the downside.

If one wanted to make a trade, below are the potential strikes that make the most sense or are at least a starting point for a trade. At the time of the trade, my hope is that I can increase my “cushion,” or probabilities of success on the trade, as I would be far more comfortable. However, the premium must still make sense.

Here is the potential trade (as always, if I decide to place a trade in COST, I will send a trade alert with updated data):


Sell to open COST June 2, 2023, 525 calls

Buy to open COST June 2, 2023, 530 calls

Sell to open COST June 2, 2023, 460 puts

Buy to open COST June 2, 2023, 455 puts for roughly $0.72 or $72 per iron condor.

Our margin requirement would be roughly $428 per iron condor. Again, the goal of selling the COST iron condor is to have the underlying stock stay below the 525 call strike and above the 460 put strike immediately after COST earnings are announced.

Here are the parameters for this trade:

  • The probability of success – 89.38% (call side) and 89.91% (put side)
  • The maximum return on the trade is the credit of $0.72, or $72 per iron condor
  • Max return: 16.8% (based on $428 margin per iron condor)
  • Break-even level: 525.72 – 459.28.

As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email me at

The next Cabot Options Institute – Earnings Trader issue will be published on May 30, 2023.

Andy Crowder is a professional options trader, researcher and Senior Analyst at Cabot. Formerly with Oppenheimer & Co. in New York, Andy has leveraged his investment experience to develop his statistically based options trading strategy which applies probability theory to option valuations in order to execute risk-controlled trades. This proprietary strategy has been refined through two decades of research and real-world experience and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Seeking Alpha, and numerous other financial publications. Andy has helped thousands of option traders learn and implement his meticulous rules-driven options trading strategies through highly attended conferences, one-on-one coaching, webinars, and his work as a financial columnist. He currently resides in Bolton Valley, Vermont and when he’s not trading, teaching and writing about options, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, backcountry skiing, biking, running and enjoying all things outdoors.