Merger Termination Puts Kansas City Southern in the Spotlight

The company has decided to accept a competing bid from Canada National Railway

Deputy Editor
May 21, 2021 at 10:36 AM
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The shares of Kansas City Southern (NYSE:KSU) are modestly higher this morning, last seen up 0.8% at $296, after the railway company sent a letter to the Surface Transportation Board (STB), stating its Board of Directors decided to officially terminate its merger agreement with Canadian Pacific Railway (CP), after the company refused to hike its original bid. Kansas City Southern has instead decided to accept a competing offer from Canada National Railway (CNI).

The security is coming off five-consecutive days of losses, and is now down nearly 4.4% for the week and pacing for its worst weekly drop since January. Despite this short-term dip, the bigger picture still looks bright for KSU. The equity has doubled in the past one-year period, and it sports a year-to-date gain of 43.8%. Plus, the equity just grabbed a fresh record high of $315.39 on May 13, while its 30-day moving average contained the pullback from this level. 

Analysts are still hesitant. Of the eight in coverage, three say "buy" or better, and five say "hold." Plus, the 12-month consensus price target of $276.36 is a 5.9% discount to last night's close. 

Option traders have been incredibly bearish. In fact, at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), KSU sports a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 2.45, which sits higher than all but 3% of readings from the past year. This means long puts have rarely been more popular. 


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