Trading Strategy: Bet Against the Takeover Rumor

Posted by Ian Cooper - Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

This is another trading strategy we use in Options Trading Pit... along with trading the news, technicals, and momentum.

You simply short or buy puts on the very companies surging on takeover rumors... 

Here's more from Bloomberg.com on it:

"The surest way to profit from takeover speculation in the stock market is to bet it’s wrong.

Electronic news services, brokerages and newspapers reported at least 1,875 rumors about potential buyouts of 717 companies between 2005 and 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A total of 104, or 14.5 percent, were acquired, the data show. While stocks that were the subject of takeover speculation initially jumped 2.9 percent, betting on declines yielded average profits of 1.2 percent in the next month, an annualized gain of 14 percent.

Opportunities to employ the strategy are increasing as mergers recover from the worst recession in more than 70 years, data compiled by Bloomberg show. After bottoming in 2008, the number of unconfirmed stories about possible mergers surged 71 percent to 611 last year from 2009, data compiled by Bloomberg from more than 50 news providers and brokerages show.

“Sell into the strength,” said John Orrico, who focuses on mergers and acquisitions at New York-based Water Island Capital LLC, which oversees about $2.2 billion. “We see it as an opportunity to sell if we think the rumor is false or ridiculous, which in most cases they are.”

Read more here.


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