Fortunes are made and lost in a matter of minutes on Wall Street, but rarely as fast as last week, when a stockbroker’s quick reaction to a stock tip bagged him $2.4 million in profit.
And the windfall was acquired in the blink of an eye.
According to Fortune, Wall Street Journal reporter Dana Mattioli tweeted a tip Friday on a possible tech deal involving computer-chip maker Altera on Friday at 3:32 p.m — the information was sent out through the Journal’s newswire service at the same time.
The tweet as seen on Twitter:
Intel is in talks to buy Altera. Deal would be largest in Intel’s history. Scoop w/ @danacimilluca coming to http://t.co/Q7kOQBB8Zh$ALTR
— Dana Mattioli (@DanaMattioli) March 27, 2015
The NASDAQ Stock Market reacted by suspended trading on Altera at 3:35 p.m., but not before a lucky trader had already purchased the options, according to the New York Post.
Fortune said the trigger was pulled on the deal in less than a minute after the tweet.
The broker paid $110,530 for the right to buy around 300,000 shares of Altera at $36 a share — the stock was valued around $34.76 a share at the time, and the “call” options were only 35 cents each because the stock normally would not be expected to hit the $36 mark, the Post reported.
Altera closed out the day Friday up 28 percent, trading at $44.39 a share.
An investment strategist told the Post the broker likely saw the WSJ tweet at exactly the right moment, or knew about the tip ahead of time and was watching for it go public — or relied on an automated computer program, known as a “bot,” to be alerted.
Neither Altera nor Intel has confirmed the talk of a buyout.
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