By Chuck Mikolajczak and April Joyner
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Shares of Kraft Heinz Co <KHC.O> spiked more than 4% on Friday after a Twitter account closely resembling that of financial publication Barron’s said the food company had been approached for a buyout.
The company’s stock rose to a session high of $30.30 at around noon ET (1700 GMT), minutes after the tweet from “@barronsfinance,” an account with more than 5,000 followers on Twitter. The account uses a similar logo to the official Barron’s account, which goes under the handle “@barronsonline.”
The tweet was later deleted.
Trading volume in Kraft Heinz options was also heavier than usual.
Activity in call options, used to position for a rise in shares, first spiked around 10 am ET (1500 GMT), shortly before the @barronsfinance account initially tweeted about “takeover chatter” regarding Kraft Heinz, according to data from options analytics platform Trade Alert.
Options activity picked up again around the time of the second tweet.
Two of the biggest trades in Kraft Heinz options were for calls expiring on Friday at a strike price of $29.50, near the shares’ closing price, the data showed.
Kraft Heinz shares ended Friday’s session 1.7% higher at $29.54. Volume on the session was over 13 million shares, 1.9 times its 10-day average of 7.04 million shares.
A spokesman for Kraft Heinz declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Dow Jones & Company, the publisher of Barron’s, said @barronsfinance was not affiliated with the publication.
A Twitter message to @barronsfinance was not immediately returned. It was unclear who was behind the Twitter account.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak and April Joyner; Additional reporting by Richa Naidu; Editing by Ira Iosebashvili, Will Dunham and Cynthia Osterman)