By Chris McKhann , analyst at OptionMonster
NEW YORK -- IMAX (IMAX) may be breaking out of its recent range, and traders are buying into the digital-theater company ahead of its earnings report on Thursday.
More than 10,300 December 24 calls were purchased on Friday, led by 9,300 that traded at the same second for 65 cents, according to OptionMonster's real-time tracking systems. The volume dwarfed open interest in the strike, which was just 476 contracts at the start of the session, so this was fresh buying.
IMAX rose 1.44% to close at $21.85, breaking above its 100-day moving average. The stock had been trading sideways for about two months until popping on Thursday after Credit Suisse initiated coverage of the name with a price target of $28.Friday's call-buyers are looking for the stock to gain roughly 13% by expiration. The premiums on those options could rise with any rally before then, allowing the traders to sell the calls at a profit earlier. However, if the options are not above the $24 strike price by mid-December, they will expire worthless. Total option volume in the name was more than 14 times its daily average. Only 582 puts changed hands in the entire session, a reflection of the bullish sentiment. McKhann has no positions in IMAX.