EXPE – Expedia, Inc. – Online travel company, Expedia, popped up on our ‘hot by options volume’ market scanner in the first half of the trading day due to near-term activity in both calls and puts. Expedia’s shares surged 9.5% to touch an intraday high of $23.08 on news the firm reported earning second-quarter net income of $0.44 a share, which exceeded the average analyst forecast of $0.42 a share, after the closing bell on Thursday evening. EXPE’s shares are currently up 7.40% on the day at $22.63 as of 12:50 pm ET. Bullish players hoping to see Expedia’s shares extend gains scooped up approximately 1,100 now in-the-money calls at the August $22.5 strike for an average premium of $0.95 each. Call buyers stand ready to profit should the largest online travel company’s shares rally another 3.6% to surpass the average breakeven price of $23.45 by August expiration day. Meanwhile, August $22.5 strike put options were also in demand. Approximately 1,700 puts were purchased at the August $22.5 strike for an average premium of $0.98 apiece. Perhaps put buyers are long the stock and are attempting to lock in share price gains enjoyed post-earnings. In this scenario, downside protection kicks in should Expedia’s shares fall 4.9% from the current price to breach the breakeven point on the downside at $21.52 by expiration. Otherwise, investors may be buying the puts outright because they expect shares to reverse course ahead of expiration day next month. Expedia’s overall reading of options implied volatility shrank 13.6% to 38.60% post-earnings.