LVS – Las Vegas Sands Corp. – Shares of the owner and operator of casino resorts increased as much as 6.40% this afternoon to secure an intraday high of $26.90 following the firm’s better-than-expected second-quarter earnings report released ahead of the opening bell this morning. The casino company posted profits of $0.17 a share, excluding some items, which blew straight past analysts’ consensus estimate of $0.09 a share. Options investors responded to the positive report by initiating various near-term bullish trading strategies on the stock. Optimistic individuals expecting shares to continue to rally ahead of August expiration purchased 1,800 in-the-money calls at the August $26 strike for an average premium of $1.36 apiece. In-the-money call buyers make money as long as Las Vegas Sands’ shares increase 1.70% over today’s high of $26.90 to surpass the average breakeven point at $27.36 by expiration. Investors hoping to see LVS’s shares reach a new 52-week high in the next few weeks scooped up approximately 3,700 calls at the higher August $27 strike for an average premium of $1.03 a-pop. Investors long the August $27 strike calls start to accumulate profits should shares of the underlying stock surge 4.20%, break through the current 52-week high of $27.84, and trade above the average breakeven price of $28.03 ahead of next month’s expiration day. The sale of 1,000 puts at the August $27 strike for an average premium of $1.63 each is also a bullish signal. Perhaps put sellers are ditching previously established bearish positions. Otherwise, traders may be selling the puts outright because they expect shares to trade above $27.00 by August expiration. The sale of the contracts indicates some investors are willing to have shares of the underlying stock put to them at an effective price of $25.37 each should the puts land in-the-money at expiration. The overall reading of options implied volatility on Las Vegas Sands Corp. declined 12.3% to 49.63% following earnings.