CBOE Nine-Day Rally Sends Stock to Record on Merger Speculation
February 15, 2013
CBOE Holdings Inc., operator of the largest U.S. options market by volume, is poised to cross $36 a share, as its stock rose for the ninth straight day amid takeover speculation.
Its shares were up 30 cents or 0.84% to $35.99, at 1:26 p.m. That is the 30th gain in 34 sessions, if it holds up, for the operation of the Chicago Board Options Exchange.
Shares of the Chicago-based company gained 2 percent to a record $35.69 Thursday. The stock is up nearly 22 percent this year, compared with a 12 percent advance for the Bloomberg World Exchanges Index, which includes CBOE and 24 of its peers.
“CBOE is a relatively small exchange in terms of market capitalization, so it’s quite possible” that it could be taken over, Ed Ditmire, a New York-based analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd., said in a phone interview. “There seems to be more deals in the air.”
Companies that operate securities markets have been the subject of $50 billion in attempted takeovers since 2010 amid shrinking profits for stock trading. Intercontinental Exchange Inc. agreed in December to buy NYSE Euronext, the owner of the largest American equity exchange, in a $8.2 billion deal. Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. held preliminary talks with Carlyle Group LP about going private, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said on Feb. 11. CBOE is the smallest publicly traded U.S. exchange with a market value of $3.1 billion.
Gail Osten, a spokeswoman for CBOE, declined to comment on whether the company may be acquired.
The stock-market rally is also boosting CBOE’s price, Ditmire said. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has climbed 6.7 percent in 2013, bringing it within 3 percent of an all-time high. U.S. stock mutual funds received $5.77 billion in deposits last week as investors returned to equities, the Investment Company Institute in Washington said yesterday.