I’m Confused

My position in NFI matured on Friday and I am quite confused as to what actually happened. First, due to the problems in Washington, I did not have access to the Internet on Friday, and could not check my account until early Friday evening.

At my last check on Thursday I still held the NFI position, meaning it had not been called by the option holder.  My assumption the stock would go ex-dividend to about $29 (the option had a strike price of $30), the option would expire worthless, I would get the dividend and still own the stock.

When I get home and check on my account I see the shares did indeed close at $29, however, the option was exercised and my shares sold out at $30. As to the status of the dividend, I am not sure what will happen. The stock went ex-dividend on Friday, and the record date is Tuesday.  I think I was holding the stock until the ex-dividend date and thus should get the dividend. So my question is: Why would someone exercise a call at $30 to own a stock worth $29, unless they believed they were getting the dividend?

The payment date on the dividend is 12/29. I will not know until then whether is is mine or not. If not, I made a 1/2% return for 15 days. With the dividend that will increase to a 4.5% return for the same time period. Updates to follow.

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