By Mike Yamamoto, managing editor of OptionMonsterHOUSTON ( TheStreet) -- A large trader turned bullish on Ultra Petroleum ( UPL) late Thursday ahead of the company's earnings report Friday. OptionMonster's real-time systems detected a single print of 8,000 August 45 calls bought for $1.15. The unusual volume dwarfed the strike's daily average of 172 calls and was far above the open interest of 1,036 contracts, clearly indicating that the trade was establishing a new position. Ultra Petroleum's stock closed Thursday up 1.23% to $43.70 and gained another nickel in after-hours trading. Shares of the oil and gas company were trading above $53 less than two months ago but appear to be consolidating in a narrow range near recent support levels. The stock must gain at least 5.6% by the August expiration for Thursday's call-buyer to turn a profit. Traders were also selling puts in the name at various August and September strikes well above open interest, further indicating a belief that the stock price has reached a bottom. The company is scheduled to release its quarterly results Friday at the opening bell. Traders may be hoping that it is benefiting from rising demand for natural gas during this summer's record-breaking heat wave across much of the country. Yamamoto has no position in the stock mentioned.