Bulls Shopping at Ascena Retail

By David Russell, reporter at OptionMonster

NEW YORK -- Traders are shopping for strong results in Ascena Retail ( ASNA), which reports earnings on Wednesday.

OptionMonster's scanners detected the purchase of more than 2,800 December 20 calls on Friday, most of which priced for 75 cents to 80 cents. The volume was above the open interest of 1,947 contracts, indicating that new positions were initiated.

Calls lock in the price where investors can buy shares. They can generate significant leverage in the event of a rally but become worthless if the stock fails to move.

Ascena's stock, which fell 0.79% to $20.10 on Friday, has been finding support at its 200-day moving average in the last month. The stock has steadily trended higher since 2009 amid strong results, though earnings missed estimates in May and guidance was weak in September.

Formerly known as a Dress Barn, Ascena has seen growth more recently at its Justice and maurices locations.

Total option volume was 14 times greater than average in the stock on Friday, with calls outnumbering puts by 23 to 1.

Russell has no positions in ASNA.

This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

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