It's been a rough year for EMC investors. Shares of the data storage company are down 16 percent in 2015, but hope arrived in the form of takeover speculation this week, and that sent options traders making bullish bets.
"We saw above average call activity, and most of that was buying," strategist Stacey Gilbert said Thursday on CNBC's "Fast Money." Call activity on Thursday ran twice its daily average.
"There's a lot of speculation out there that EMC was considering a buyout by its own subsidiary VMware," said Gilbert. Re/Code reported earlier this week that EMC is considering a proposal for a downstream merger, in which it would be acquired by VMware, a company that it is a majority owner. Shares of the stock are up 10 percent since the report on Wednesday.