By Pete Najarian, co-founder of OptionMonster

HOUSTON ( TheStreet) -- BMC Software ( BMC) got slammed on a bad earnings report, but now the bulls are thinking about a potential takeover after rival Sybase ( SY)got snatched up.

OptionMonster's real-time systems spotted heavy buying of the June 40 calls, with institutional-sized trades for 85 cents to $1 as investors looked for upside in the stock. Volume totaled 5,481 contracts, more than 19 times the open interest at that strike.

There was also unusual activity in the June 42.50 strike, which traded more than 2,700 times for 25 cents to 42 cents. It appears that some of those were sold by investors putting on vertical spreads to reduce the cost of getting long the lower strikes.

BMC, which rose 0.39% to $38.51 Thursday, has been stuck in a range between $36 and $40 since September. It plunged on May 6 -- and not just because the rest of the market was selling off.

The big news that day was the reaction to the company's fiscal fourth-quarter earnings the previous day, which missed forecasts. However, the guidance for the full year was strong.

Sybase rallied 35% on Wednesday and 14% Thursday as it became known that the company was getting acquired by German software giant SAP ( SAP - Get Report). Both BMC and Sybase compete in the growing market for systems that manage information and optimize giant enterprise databases.

Some 11,539 contracts traded Thursday in BMC, triple the average number. More than 93% of that resulted from bullish activity in the calls.

--Najarian owns a BMC call spread.