Options Suggest Nabors Takeover

Land-drilling contractor may be targeted after CEO departs.

Nabors Industries Ltd. has gotten so cheap that traders in the options market are betting the world’s largest land-drilling contractor may be a takeover candidate after the departure of its 81-year-old chief executive officer.

Nabors, which lost $2.4 billion in value in the past six months as delays in equipment deliveries and upgrades of rigs in Saudi Arabia cut profitability, is now cheaper than 97 percent of oil and gas services companies versus sales, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In the past two weeks, calls priced 10 percent above Nabors’ stock rose the most in 18 months versus puts on one-month contracts, signaling traders are anticipating an acquisition, said JonesTrading Institutional Services LLC.

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