Investing with options: Apple, Inc. earnings Investing with options: Apple, Inc. earnings Investing with options: Apple, Inc. earnings

Investing with options: Apple, Inc. earnings

Options 10 minutes to read
Koen Hoorelbeke

Options Strategist

Summary:  With Apple Inc.'s highly-anticipated earnings report set to be released this Thursday, November 2nd, 2023, the market is abuzz with speculation and strategic planning. To help you navigate these exciting times, our latest article delves into four curated options strategies designed to align with various market outlooks - be it bullish, bearish, or neutral.

Investing with options - Apple, Inc. earnings

As the world anticipates Apple Inc.'s earnings report this Thursday, investors and market enthusiasts are keenly observing the tech giant’s performance. The earnings report, expected to be released on November 2nd, 2023, is predicted to have a significant impact on the market, especially for those employing options strategies. Analysts are forecasting an average revenue of $90.3 billion, with earnings per share estimated to be around $1.39. With such high stakes, options can offer investors both opportunities and hedges. In this article, we'll explore four distinct options strategies tailored for different market outlooks.

See also: Earnings watch Caterpillar Apple Novo Nordisk
Important note: the strategies and examples provided in this article are purely for educational purposes. They are intended to assist in shaping your thought process and should not be replicated or implemented without careful consideration. Every investor or trader must conduct their own due diligence and take into account their unique financial situation, risk tolerance, and investment objectives before making any decisions. Remember, investing in the stock market carries risk, and it's crucial to make informed decisions.


1. Bullish outlook - buying call options:

Considering Apple's pullback in the last few weeks, a long call option can capitalize on potential upside.

  • Execution: BuyToOpen 1 20-Sep-2024 145 Call @ $37.80 (Delta: 0.8055)
  • Premium and risk: Per share: $37.80 (debit)
    • Premium cost: $37.80 x 100 (per contract) = $3,780
    • Max risk: $3,780 (if AAPL remains below 145 at expiry)
    • Max reward: Significant (increases as AAPL stock price goes up)
  • Breakeven point: $145 (strike) + $37.80 (premium) = $182.80
  • Rationale: A long call with a far-off expiration reduces the impact of time decay, and a high delta captures more of the stock's upward movement.
  • Stock vs options comparison: With $3,780, you could buy approximately 22 shares of AAPL at its current price of $170.76. A $1 price increase yields a profit of $22 for the stock but $80.55 for the call option (100 x $1 x 0.8055).  

2. Bullish outlook - selling ITM put options:

Selling in-the-money (ITM) put options can be another method to acquire Apple shares at a discount.
  • Execution: SellToOpen 1 03-Nov-2023 172.5 Put @ $4.55 (Delta: -0.5715)
  • Premium and risk: Per share: $4.55 (credit)
    • Premium earned: $4.55 x 100 (per contract) = $455
    • Max risk: Significant, if AAPL falls considerably.
  • Breakeven point: $172.5 (strike) - $4.55 (premium) = $167.95
  • Rationale: Opting for a near-term expiration date amplifies the rate of time decay, accelerating the profitability of the trade if Apple's stock price stays above the strike price. Although the risk exposure is significant in case of a sharp downturn, the strategy serves a dual purpose: it either nets a swift premium or obligates the purchase of Apple shares at an effective discounted rate below the strike. Essentially, this approach allows you to generate quick income or buy into the stock at a lower cost basis, thereby aligning with a bullish outlook.
  • Stock vs options comparison: Effective price: $167.95 vs current price: $170.76. Discount: $2.81 per share. Percentage Discount: 1.64%.

3. Bearish outlook - buying put options:

If you believe Apple's stock is set for a decline, a long put option can be suitable.
  • Execution: BuyToOpen 1 20-Sep-2024 190 Put @ $24.40 (Delta: -0.6384)
  • Premium and risk: Per share: $24.40 (debit)
    • Premium cost: $24.40 x 100 (per contract) = $2,440
    • Max risk: $2,440 (if AAPL stays above 190 at expiry)
  • Breakeven point: $190 (strike) - $24.40 (premium) = $165.60
  • Rationale: This strategy adopts a longer expiration period to mitigate the adverse effects of time decay (theta), providing ample time for the market to align with a bearish forecast. While the initial premium outlay is substantial, the benefit is a leveraged position that can offer outsized gains on any significant downside movement in Apple's stock price. This approach offers a directional bet against the stock without the need to short it, which is particularly relevant given the limitations on shorting stocks in many EU countries.
  • Stock vs options comparison: In the absence of the option to short stocks in several EU jurisdictions, this put option serves as an efficient alternative. A $1 decrease in Apple's stock price would translate to an estimated $64 gain per option contract (calculated as 100 shares per contract x $1 price decrease x Delta of -0.6384).

4. Neutral/bullish outlook - writing covered calls:

If you already own Apple shares, covered calls can generate additional income.
  • Execution: SellToOpen 1 10-Nov-2023 177.5 Call @ $1.40 (Delta: 0.2523)
  • Premium and risk: Per share: $1.40 (credit)
    • Premium earned: $1.40 x 100 (per contract) = $140
    • Max risk: The risk lies in the stock ownership, which is capped at the stock's current market price of $170.76 x 100 (per contract) = $17,076.
  • Breakeven point: Varies based on stock cost basis
  • Yield:
    • Yield Calculation over 11 Days:
      Yield = (Premium earned / Cost of Stock) x 100
      Yield = ($140 / $17,076) x 100 = 0.82%
    • Annualized Yield:
      Annualized Yield = (0.82% x 365) / 11 = 27.24%
  • Rationale: The primary aim is to generate additional income from your existing stock holding, recognizing that this comes with the trade-off of having a capped upside potential. If Apple’s stock trades above $177.5 at expiration, you'll have to part with your shares at that price.
  • Stock vs Options Comparison: Writing a covered call allows you to secure immediate premium income, with the risk that your Apple shares could get called away at $177.5, representing a capped upside but also a potential profitable exit for your stock holding.


When it comes to investing in options around Apple's earnings, each strategy comes with its unique set of rewards and risks. The key is aligning your strategy with your market outlook and risk tolerance.
The comparisons between buying stock and using options reveal interesting facets:
  • Buying calls: The leverage effect of a call option allows you to control the same amount of stock with less capital. A $1 increase in Apple's stock results in an $80.55 gain with a call, compared to a $22 gain by holding 22 shares of the stock for the same amount of capital.
  • Selling ITM puts: This strategy could allow you to acquire Apple at a discounted rate compared to buying shares directly. The effective purchase price would be the strike minus the premium received, which can be calculated as a percentage discount against the current stock price.
  • Buying puts: Options offer a leveraged way to bet against the stock with a defined risk, which can be particularly useful in volatile times.
  • Writing covered calls: This strategy provides additional income and an annualized yield of 27.24%, which you can't get by just holding the stock.
Each option strategy can serve a purpose depending on your viewpoint on the stock and market conditions, making options a flexible tool for various investment goals.

Options are complex, high-risk products and require knowledge, investment experience and, in many applications, high risk acceptance. We recommend that before you invest in options, you inform yourself well about the operation and risks. In Saxo Bank's Terms of Use you will find more information on this in the Important Information Options, Futures, Margin and Deficit Procedure. You can also consult the Essential Information Document of the option you want to invest in on Saxo Bank's website.

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