U.S. Markets closed

Kraft Heinz Options Investors Foiled by Poorly Timed Put Sales

Gregory Calderone
Kraft Heinz Options Investors Foiled by Poorly Timed Put Sales

(Bloomberg) -- Kraft Heinz Co. shareholders aren’t the only ones feeling the sting of the stock’s record single-day drop.

Whoever sold March $50 put options in the days leading up to the earnings report that triggered the slump are missing out on 425 percent gains. It appears that almost half of the 27,000 contracts initially bought in late January were sold earlier this week, potentially leaving more than 1 million shares unhedged.

The ketchup maker’s shares plunged as much as 28 percent to an all-time low of $34.51 on Friday after fourth-quarter earnings missed the lowest estimates and the company wrote down the value of some of its best known brands by $15.4 billion. The plunge came after the stock had bounced back 13 percent from its prior record-low close on Dec. 24.

A majority of the March $50 puts had been accumulated on Jan. 30 and Jan. 31 for an average price of $3.90 per contract, with additional options being bought on Feb. 11 for around $3.97 each. It appears holders sold as many as 11,000 between Feb. 20 and Feb. 21 for an average price of $2.88 apiece before prices spiked to as high as $15.90 on Friday, according to trading data compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gregory Calderone in New York at gcalderone7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Catherine Larkin at clarkin4@bloomberg.net, Richard Richtmyer, Dave Liedtka

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.