Trader Tweets About Selling Takata Shares, Stock Slumps as Much as 8.8%

  • Air-bag maker drops after posting by trader known as CIS
  • Company said to hone in on bids from Autoliv, Key Safety

Takata Corp., finalizing a buyer after spurring record auto industry recalls, fell in Tokyo trading after a Japanese day trader told his more than 103,000 Twitter followers he sold shares in the air-bag maker.

The stock slumped as much as 8.8 percent, the biggest intraday decline since Nov. 9, and was down 6.1 percent as of 2:11 p.m. in Tokyo. The trader, a former video-game champion and pachinko gambler who goes by CIS, wrote in a Twitter posting Wednesday that he sold all the Takata shares he’d purchased three weeks ago.

Bloomberg Markets magazine profiled CIS and the cult following he built among Japanese day traders in its November 2014 issue. In a phone interview Wednesday, he estimated that his Takata trade involving about 800,000 shares had netted a pretax gain of about $1.2 million. He also provided a screenshot of his trades.

Takata had climbed to the highest since Jan. 29 at Tuesday’s close as the company works to secure a buyer and finalize its restructuring plans following a series of recalls that may lead to replacement of more than 100 million air bags worldwide. The auto-parts maker has honed in on bids from Autoliv Inc. and Key Safety Systems Inc. as it progresses toward a final round of negotiating a sale, according to people familiar with the matter.

CIS has narrated his trades online before, including a short of Nikkei futures in August 2015 and bet on a subsequent rebound. His Takata trade began when the shares rose following a report three weeks ago that its U.S. subsidiary was considering filing for bankruptcy.

“The stock rose even after a piece of really bad news came out,” he said by phone. “For me that’s a sign of strong demand.”

The reason for selling involved the same simple logic, CIS said. The shares had stopped rising after positive news last week that a potential sale to Autoliv or Key Safety was progressing, he said.

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