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Shake Shack options set for market debut on Friday

A man eats at Shake Shack in New York January 30, 2015. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Options contracts on shares of U.S. burger chain Shake Shack Inc (SHAK.N) will begin trading on Friday for the first time since the company's initial public offering early this year.

Shake Shack’s shares, which fell precipitously on Thursday, have been quite volatile since their market debut in January, trading between $38.64 and $96.75. That should help boost demand for its options, strategists said.

"It will probably see some interest due to the volatility and the new listing," said Fred Ruffy, options strategist at WhatsTrading.com.

On Thursday, CBOE Holdings Inc (CBOE.O) and Nasdaq OMX Group Inc (NDAQ.O) said they will list options on the company on Friday.

Other U.S. options exchanges, including the International Securities Exchange Holdings' ISE and ISE Gemini, are expected to list the options soon.

The listings will allow traders to start using the contracts to place bets on where they expect the shares to trade in the future.

But given that trading volume of the stock has averaged about a million shares a day - which equates to about 10,000 options contracts - there might not be a great deal of volume, he said.

The shares started trading on the New York Stock Exchange at $47 and nearly doubled to a high of $96.75 by May 22. Since then, however they have fallen significantly.

The shares ended regular trading on Thursday down 15.7 percent at $54.61, after the company said it had priced a 4 million-share offering at $60 per share, well below a $64.79 closing price on Wednesday.

"There is plenty of volatility and action, which usually attracts options traders," said J.J. Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade in Chicago.

High-profile IPOs usually generate a lot of demand for options on the new stocks but exchanges have to wait until minimum thresholds for the number of freely tradable shares are met.

Until now, Shake Shack did not meet the minimum float requirement of at least 7 million shares, but the expiration of a post-IPO lockup at the end of July and the secondary offering helped boost the company’s float.

Shake Shack, known for its indulgent hormone- and antibiotic-free burgers and sides, on Monday reported stronger-than-expected quarterly profit and sales. [ID:nL1N10L29E]

(Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed)