It’s show-and-tell season in corporate America, when publicly traded companies get the chance to reveal their financial performance for the most recent quarter.
In this go-around, however, the consequences for disappointing the crowd are high.
Analysts are already braced for bad news. According to FactSet, their cuts to S&P 500 earnings-per-share estimates for the first half of 2019 were the largest in four years.
Investors are following suit and heavily penalizing companies that don’t meet expectations. Shares of firms that miss on profits but beat on revenue have declined 4.3% in the three days post-earnings, according to data compiled by Evercore ISI. That’s nearly four times the 15-year average.
Earnings season is now kicking into high gear, which means there are still plenty of landmines out there. To help investors avoid them, Goldman Sachs examined options-market activity for stocks that traders are worried about.
The list below highlights the 10 stocks options traders are the most fearful of, judging by their desire for downside protection. It’s sorted in ascending order of the implied move for this quarter’s earnings report, less the average realized earnings move over the past eight quarters.
“All stocks below have 1m normalized 25 delta put-call skew in the 75%-ile or higher, indicating a demand for protection ahead of earnings,” Goldman derivatives strategist Katherine Fogertey said in a note to clients.