While I grind away on various covered call positions (I only have one covered call with an October short call on; the rest are in November or December), I'm looking ahead to some decent earnings for premium selling.

Generally, I'm looking for underlyings whose implied volatility is above the 70th percentile for the past 52 weeks and that have background implied volatility of greater than 50% to play for a contraction in volatility immediately following the earnings announcement, with the go-to strategies being short strangles or iron condors.

Currently, there are four underlyings with good liquidity options that announce earnings next week and whose volatility is above the 60th percentile for the preceding 52 weeks: IBM             , NFLX             , UA             , and EBAY             . I'm screening for >60 implied volatility rank at this point, since volatility in these could still ramp up to my >70%, meaning that they might be worth keeping an eye on.

IBM             -- Announces 10/17 after market close. The implied volatility rank is now in the 85th percentile. Unfortunately, the background implied volatility is far from being up to snuff at this point for me (28.3%).
NFLX             -- Announces 10/17 after market close. Implied vol rank: 64th percentile; implied volatility 56.6%. It's very nearly "there". Hopefully implied volatility pops a little more right before earnings .
UA             -- Announces 10/17 after market close. Rank: 62; implied vol 41.7%. Needs more.
EBAY             -- Announces 10/19 after market close. Rank: 93; implied vol 41.6%. Needs more.

After I look at implied volatility percentile and the background implied volatility , I look at what I can get out of a setup. Generally, I'm shooting for a 1.00 credit for either a short strangle or iron condor, since I look to take these off at 50% max profit (i.e., a .50 ($50)/contract profit). Alternatively, I look at whether a short straddle or iron fly would make sense if the underlying is just too cheap to yield a decent enough credit. With short straddles/iron flies, I generally look to get 2.00 in credit at the outset, since I tend to manage those at 25% max.
Comment: A small omission: VRX is "scheduled" to announce earnings in 3 days. Its implied vol rank is 74; imp vol 112. Personally, I don't like to play vol contraction on things like ADR's and multinationals such as VRX where the earnings announcement is not a date certain because you will not get a "scheduled" volatility contraction without knowing exactly when the announcement will occur ... .
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