For the past few months, talks have been hot and heavy about how March 6th was the magic day for Sirius (NASDAQ:SIRI). All restrictions on Liberty (NASDAQ:LMCA) would be removed, maximum tax potential, no poison pill. It was supposed to be a day they heard over the radio from Mr. Malone "Weapons free, prepare to fire" and grabbed control over Sirius, and would pay us a pretty penny for it.
Longs like myself, some holding their stakes for years and years, waiting for the big home run; we're all ready for our home run trot around the bases. $3 a share? $3.50 a share? Where would this baby run to.
I personally was very cautiously optimistic about this day. I even wrote an article discussing this the weekend before on how to maximize being a shareholder during the days leading up to the 6th. I personally had decided to just hold my shares, write no additional covered calls, and buy no additional long options. I was going to sit back and watch and see where we went.
Alas, March 6th has come and (submitted this article mid-day Tuesday), and not a peep from Malone. Market trading as normal, no Gordon Gecko type buying volume, just a fairly average day with a little drop in price. Huh? What? Where is the action? Where is the big pop in price? In reality we should have expected all of this, here are some reasons why it is what it is:
Should Expect the Unexpected: Mr. Malone has made a career of being the surprise of all surprises. Think back to the deals he has been involved in (including the Sirius bailout just a few years ago!). Kabel Baden-Württemberg, Discovery, Time Warner, USA Network etc etc. The list goes on and on. How many of these were expected transactions? With all the hype of this day, did you think Malone would do what we were thinking he would?
Dumbest Day to Buy out: If we use common sense (which many of us sometimes do not, myself included) then what possible reason would Malone buy shares of this stock on the 6th? After waiting 3 long years for the restrictions to vanish, feel the urge to HAVE TO buy this stock on a day when folks could be driving up the price to it's highest level in years? If he waits only a few days, a week, more, isn't there a good chance that the hype and excitement will disappear and the price drop back down to pre 2012 levels? Doesn't even a .10 difference in price save them millions?
They Already have the Shares: Some contributors on SA have written and believe that Liberty has a pre-arranged deal in place to purchase blocks of shares from large holders at set prices. If this is true they would not need many (if any) shares from the open market. So again, no need to target the 6th. They can slowly buy shares on the market at the price they want it at (if needed) and execute the "pre-arranged" transaction when they have the other shares they need. Legal to do? I have no clue, it seems that evidently it is. But remember our buddy Malone has been involved in some morally questionable deals in the past and in fact has been fined for them. So seeing Liberty touch on a grey area would not surprise me in the least.
Although I am slightly surprised so far today, and with how Monday played out with the decrease in the price, we all should have expected Liberty to do what they did, which was nothing. If you are following my covered call strategy (less the more bullish option purchase) you are looking good to pick up a little $$ and still hold your shares.
Disclosure: I am long SIRI.
Additional disclosure: Own Puts on AAPL