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CBOE Falls as Evercore Cuts Rating on ‘No Potential Buyers’

CBOE Holdings Inc. shares fell as Evercore Partners Inc. cut the stock’s rating, saying a pickup in mergers among exchanges left “no potential buyers” for the owner of the largest U.S. equity derivatives exchange.

“We believe recent exchange deal activity has left a dearth of potential buyers for CBOE, which should result in the takeout premium fading from the stock,” Chris Allen, a New York-based analyst with Evercore, wrote in a note, downgrading the stock to “underweight” from “equal-weight” and cutting his price estimate to $22.50 from $29.50.

Shares of the Chicago-based options exchange operator slipped 5 percent to $27.51 at 4 p.m. New York time in the biggest decline since March 10. The stock has rallied 20 percent this year.

More than $20 billion of exchange acquisitions have been announced in the past five months as venues in North America, Europe and Asia try to cut costs and offset declining profits from equity trading with options, futures and derivatives. Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. and IntercontinentalExchange Inc. today made an unsolicited bid of about $11.3 billion for NYSE Euronext, trying to snatch the owner of the New York Stock Exchange away from Deutsche Boerse AG.

NYSE rallied 13 percent to $39.60, while Nasdaq rose 9.3 percent to $28.23. ICE declined 3.1 percent to $119.75.

Evercore is serving as a financial adviser to Nasdaq in its joint bid for NYSE Euronext.

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