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Kinder Morgan Management Call Buyers Hit The Jackpot

Buyers of call options on Kinder Morgan Management LLC at the end of last week and earlier this month saw huge gains in the value of those positions over the weekend with shares in KMR up 25% in early-afternoon trading to $96.14. News that Kinder Morgan Inc. (Ticker: KMI) plans to consolidate businesses through the acquisition of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (Ticker: KMP), Kinder Morgan Management LLC (Ticker: KMR) and El Paso Pipeline Partners LP (Ticker: EPB), sent shares across these names skyward.

Looking at changes in open interest in options on Kinder Morgan Management, it looks like there were sizable increases in call open interest at the Feb 85.0 strike on Thursday last week and in the Sep 80.0 strike calls on Friday. In the case of the Feb 85.0 strike calls, it looks like 5,000 of the contracts were purchased on Thursday afternoon at a premium of $1.10 each. Today, these call options are changing hands at roughly ten times that amount, or $12.00 apiece. Meanwhile, the Sep 80.0 strike calls were active on Friday afternoon. Time and sales data suggests 1,500 of the 80.0 strike calls were purchased at a premium of $0.55 each. Fast-forward to today’s trade, and the Sep 80.0 strike call options are showing a bid/ask spread of $15.10/$17.90 just before 12:30 p.m. ET. 

The September 80.0 strike call options have only traded 38 contracts so far today, but the February 85.0 strike calls are active with volume approaching 10,500 contracts against total open interest of 17,805 contracts. It looks like much of the volume today is the work of sellers. Perhaps some of the selling represents profit-taking given the massive jump in the value of these now deep in-the-money options contracts.


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