Too Many Options: Takeovers Galore $NYX, $FMCN, $ILMN

by Enis December 20, 2012 4:39 pm • Commentary

A lot of takeover-related trading today:

  1. NYX – ICE announced a $33 per share bid for NYX in cash and stock this morning.  NYX  closed up 34%, at $32.25.  The Jan13 24 calls were the most active line, trading more than 9k, likely selling to close based on this LiveVol post.
  2. FMCN – Implied volatility is down 22% and over 100K options trading hands versus the average of 14K on news that the board has accepted a bid to go private for a price mentioned of $27.50. The buyout must be approved by 2/3rds of shareholders. It would be the largest buyout for a China based company. More puts traded than calls, as there are many hedge fund skeptics involved in this name.
  3. ILMN – stock up $4 and at the highs of the year on rumors that Roche may be thinking of acquiring them for a decent premium. Lots of in-the-money and at-the-money call buyers in Dec and upside call buyers in Jan’13. Option volume was ten times the average.
  4. HLF – stock down 10% and IV30 up 10%. Pershing Square Capital Management founder, Bill Ackman, sent stock down on Wednesday on news that he was short.  Over 136K options traded.  Here was my take of recent options trading in the CotD post.
  5. NUS – was down probably in sympathy with HLF. IV30 popped yesterday and was flat to down today. Ratio of calls to puts to 1:4.
  6. BAC – Stock closed at a new high, and calls were active again.  The Jan13 11, Dec 11.5, and Jan13 10 calls traded the most, around 50k for each.
  7. GLD – Gold and silver have had a bad week to say the least.  Someone sold 10k of the Jan13 165 / 170 call spread at $0.41 to close.  The Mar 170 / 185 call spread traded more than 20k for around 0.80.
  8. XLF – Large buyer of the March 15 puts to protect recent gains in financials, paying 0.21 for 15k in one block, and 0.20 for around another 10k on a sweep.
  9. LNG – LNG hovering near highs of the year.  The Jan13 17 calls traded more than 20k, mostly buying throughout the day
  10. AAPL – Call to put ratio ended around 1.25.  The weekly 525 calls, weekly 520 puts, and weekly 530 calls all traded more than 40k