Kansas City Southern Stock Pops on Resumed Buyout Battle

Put volume is running at 15 times what's typically seen at this point

Deputy Editor
Aug 10, 2021 at 2:28 PM
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Railroad operator Kansas City Southern (NYSE:KSU) is back in the spotlight today, after Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) raised its buyout offer nearly four months after stating it would not do so. Canadian Pacific offered an unsolicited buyout of around $27.29 billion -- or $300 per share -- which is slightly lower than a previously accepted offer from rival Canadian National Railway (CNI). Kansas City Southern responded by saying its board of directors will look over Canadian Pacific's proposal. As a result, the shares of Kansas City Southern were last seen 7% higher to trade at $288.35.

KSU's options pits are exploding with bearish activity in response to today's news. In fact, 6,125 puts have already exchanged hands, which is 15 times the amount typically seen at this point and nearly triple the amount of calls traded so far. The most popular contract by far is the September 270 put, with new positions being opened there, followed by the 260 put from the same series. 

Analyst sentiment has been pessimistic. Of the 11 in coverage, just three say "buy" or better, while eight say "hold" or worse. Meanwhile, the 12-month consensus price target of $290.71 is a slim 0.8% premium to current levels. 

While Kansas City Southern stock has seen a pullback from its May 13 record high of $315.39, long term support from the 140-day moving average and a recent floor at the $260 level have contained most of this negative price action, launching KSU back above its 20-day moving average late last week. Now, KSU is pacing for its first close above $285 in over a month, and boasts a respectable 41.2% year-to-date lead.

KSU Chart August 10

 

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