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Insider Trading Ahead of Cisco’s $28 Billion Splunk Acquisition? – Decrypt


An impeccably well-timed trade has prompted claims of insider trading, as a trader appears to have made a nearly 46,000% return after opening calls in cybersecurity software company Splunk—just one day before Cisco Systems snapped up the artificial intelligence-driven cybersecurity firm in a blockbuster deal.

In a Thursday tweet, Unusual Whales—which provides trading data—flagged a “crazy trade” where someone opened 127 Splunk calls ($SPLK) on Wednesday for a total of $22,000. In finance, call options are contracts which give someone the right to buy assets such as stocks or bonds at an agreed price until a specific date. 

The trade happened mere hours before Thursday’s announcement from Cisco that it made the biggest technology acquisition of the year, as the networking equipment giant agreed to buy AI cybersecurity firm Splunk for about $28 billion. 

The trader then exited—turning the $22,000 investment into $10 million in less than 24 hours. Social media observers have speculated that the move was an insider trade. 

Bloomberg Intelligence analyst James Seyffart told Decrypt “that this person is either the dumbest or luckiest person in the market.” 

“This is something that, assuming true, looks to be insider trading and whoever did it will be caught,” he added. “This isn’t something that FINRA or the SEC take lightly, and this type of stuff is usually handled relatively quickly, particularly when it’s as blatant as this.”

Cisco, which has focused largely on software in recent years, said that it will combine the two firms to make it one of the world’s largest software companies—making it “well positioned to lead in security and observability in the age of AI.”

“Cisco and Splunk are well positioned to help customers responsibly harness the power of AI given their substantial scale, visibility into data, and foundation of trust,” Cisco said in the announcement.

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