Industry Acquisition News Spurs Activity in Brookdale Options, Sends Shares Soaring

BKD – Brookdale Senior Living, Inc. – Shares of the operator of senior living communities are up 18.7% at $19.74 this afternoon after earlier rallying as much as 20.4% to an intraday high of $20.03. Brookdale’s shares jumped after Ventas Inc. agreed to purchase the real estate assets of Atria Senior Living Group for $1.5 billion in cash and stock. The acquisition sent shares in Brookdale, the largest owner of senior communities in the U.S., higher on sentiment the stock is undervalued and spurred bullish trading in its options today. One options strategist utilized longer-dated calls and puts to position for shares to continue their ascent. The trader purchased 1,745 calls at the January 2011 $20 strike at a premium of $1.60 each, and sold the same number of puts out at the April 2011 $17.5 strike at a premium of $1.30 apiece. The cost of buying the call options is reduced to just $0.30 per contract, thus positioning the investor to make money if BKD’s shares rally above the effective breakeven price of $20.30 ahead of expiration day in January. The sale of the put options is a nice way to cheapen the cost of taking a bullish stance on Brookdale, but is not without its risks. The trader could have 174,500 shares of the underlying stock put to him at $17.50 each if the puts land in-the-money at expiration in April 2011. But, the $1.30 premium per contract received for bearing this risk appears to be a favorable trade off for this bullish player.

About Andrew Wilkinson 1023 Articles

Affiliation: Interactive Brokers

Andrew Wilkinson is the senior market analyst at Interactive Brokers Group, where he provides daily commentary and analysis on U.S. equity options trading throughout the trading day. Andrew provides webinars designed to explain option-related trading scenarios covering futures, fixed income, forex and equities.

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