A calendar spread options play is the likely way to go here because it is a certainty that volatility will evaporate on Friday morning.
That's not to say that the contrarian in me is not tempted to consider a directional put play after earnings. The two year chart does not make me feel good, showing a similar topping formation of just a year ago.
But with just a little more than a day to go until expiration, if it's a directional put play it would have to be in a January put. There are a few analysts out there who are less than positive. JP Morgan is "neutral" believing upside is "limited" and that 2007 guidance will be "conservative". AMTR has been very bearish with a "sell" rating going into earnings, with Am Tech saying guidance could "disappoint" investors. It pays to pay attention to bearish street analysts since they are a rarer breed.
On the other hand Jeffries recently upgraded to a "Buy" and Piper feels there could be some upside to Q4 estimates.
So all of this leaves us biased toward the calendar spread play, but we will mull the directional put play once we see what reaction to the numbers are. If the stock can muster a gain of only a few bucks, it may be a sign it's running out of steam.