Northern Trust Calls Jump on Rumors
"Fast Money" Contributor
Northern Trust saw upside option activity yesterday after the U.K.'s Daily Mail reported that the asset management and banking firm might be a takeover target.
The newspaper said HSBC Holding was a possible suitor and floated the price of $65 a share in cash. That's a pretty penny compared with Northern Trust's $50.57 closing price yesterday and the $48.02 price where it ended the previous session.
Most of the early option paper appeared to be retail, but institutional-sized trades picked up as the day progressed. The November 60 calls drew the heaviest action, with large blocks going for $0.15 to $0.25, according to OptionMonster's real-time tracking systems. The November 55s were more popular in smaller lots, mostly in the range of 20 to 50 contracts and priced for about $0.65.
The November 50s also traded 3,375 times, mostly for $1.85 to $2.10. Almost 25,000 contacts changed hands yesterday, compared with the typical number around 1,100 a day. Of those, calls totaled about 19,000.
Like most financials, Nothern Trust has been struggling of late and dropped hard after reporting weak earnings on Oct. 21.
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