Tableau Software Inc (DATA) Takeover Talk Drives Gains, Options Demand

salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM) could be interested in buying Tableau Software Inc (NYSE:DATA)

Oct 19, 2016 at 12:08 PM
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Several companies are on the M&A radar today, including tech titan Tableau Software Inc (NYSE:DATA). Specifically, speculation is heating up that DATA could be on a short list of potential salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM) acquisition targets (subscription required) -- a list that notably excludes Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR).

DATA stock is surging on the buyout buzz, last seen 5.7% higher at $49.90. Plus, with 2.7 million shares on the tape, intraday volume registers in the high 97th percentile of its annual range.

Tableau options are also flying off the shelves, relatively speaking. So far, 8,000 contracts have been exchanged, good for the 97th annual percentile. The pickup in activity is especially true on the call side of the aisle, as the contracts are trading at 17 times the expected intraday rate -- with the November 55 strike in the lead by a mile.

Today's activity represents a break from the recent trend toward DATA puts. While volume has been light on an absolute basis, the stock's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) comes in at 1.53 -- just 13 percentage points from an annual peak. Likewise, DATA's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.72 outstrips 90% of comparable readings taken in the prior year.

Technically speaking, it's been an ugly year for Tableau Software Inc (NYSE:DATA), mostly due to a colossal bear gap in early February. So far in 2016, the shares have shed 47% of their value. Plus, the stock's recent attempts to battle back have been frustrated by the descending 200-day moving average.

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