Fortinet and Source Fire Seen as Takeover Targets, Pro-Option Strategies

On Monday this week I highlighted to subscriber two large trades in similar Tech stocks, Source Fire (FIRE) and Fortinet (FTNT), both of which are in the hot network security industry.  Both of these companies are clearly takeover targets, growth names in a secular growth trend with no debt, and large cap Tech companies like Cisco (CSCO) wanting to gain exposure into this industry, and have plenty of free cash to make deals.These were large professional trades that Institutions use to be on takeover targets the way the trades were structured, and both are up nicely already from Monday.  The spreads were complex, but is actually the most optimal way to position for a takeover, buying high Delta calls and selling LEAP Strangles.The trades were as follows:Fortinet (FTNT) trade bought 2,500 June $25 calls at $2.25 and sold 2,500 January 2014 $35/$20 strangles at $2.85, a net credit of $0.60, or $150,000, done at the PHLX.Source Fire (FIRE) trade bought 1,250 June $50 calls at $4.60 and sold 1,250 January 2014 $70/$40 strangles at $6.60, net $2 credit, or $250,000, also traded at the PHLX.These are professional trades that are finding opportunities to buy short-dated calls and sell longer-dated options where M&A is not accurately being priced into the options.  With short-dated volatilities cheap on both FTNT and FIRE after the post-earnings IV collapse the options give an opportunity to gain exposure with limited risk, and also taking advantage of the options term-structure.  Selling the longer dated options is also advantageous as a deal announcement will drive down volatility once announced, and with a limited downside view and also a price-target for upside on a deal in mind, the trade can be structured like those highlighted above.Scenario Analysis:Fortinet (FTNT) in the optimal case is acquired at $35/share, and the June calls are then worth $10 and upon the deal closing the January $35/$20 strangle expires worthless and the trader banks $2.5M (plus original premium).  The worst case is that the trader has a longer term view willing to be put 250,000 shares of FTNT at $20/share.Source Fire (FIRE) in the optimal case is acquired at $70/share, and the June calls are then worth $20 and upon the deal closing the January $70/$40 strangle expires worthless and the trader banks $2.5M (plus original premium).  The worst case is that the trader has a longer term view willing to be put 125,000 shares of FIRE at $40/share, near the recent lows before a blowout earnings report.

One thought on “Fortinet and Source Fire Seen as Takeover Targets, Pro-Option Strategies

  1. Yelp! (YELP) late day trade buys 2,000 May $28 calls at $1.40 and sells 2,000 January 2014 $40/$18 strangles at $2.80, structured as a trade looking for M&A

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