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In afternoon action, three of the top market movers are imaging expert Analogic Corporation (NASDAQ:ALOG), bookseller Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS), and food manufacturer Hillshire Brands Co (NYSE:HSH). Here's a quick roundup of how this trio of names is performing on the charts so far.
- ALOG has plummeted nearly 12% this afternoon to $67.93 -- and earlier touched a fresh annual low of $65.63 -- after issuing disappointing earnings and revenue guidance this morning. The shares are now about 23% lower in 2014. On the sentiment front, short sellers are likely cheering the stock's slide, as short interest on Analogic Corporation grew 8% during the last two reporting periods, and now represents close to 5% of the equity's float -- which would take nearly eight sessions to cover, at the average daily clip. Conversely, despite ALOG's technical struggles, the Street's average 12-month price target stands at a lofty $96.75. This leaves the door wide open for a potential round of price-target reductions, which could exacerbate selling pressure on the shares.
- BKS is up over 7% so far at $18.04, bringing its year-to-date advance north of 20%. Likely assisting the shares was a positive story over the weekend at Barron's (subscription required). With the sharp move higher, Barnes & Noble, Inc. is currently on the verge of finishing atop its 80-day moving average for the first time since mid-April. Nevertheless, option bears have taken to the stock's options pits, as BKS' 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 4.18 is just 1 percentage point from a 12-month acme. Also, 19.7% of the stock's float is sold short, which represents nearly a week's worth of pent-up buying activity, at the average daily trading volume. If BKS can extend its gains, however, it could prompt an exodus of option bears and/or a short-squeeze situation, resulting in tailwinds for the equity.
- Finally, HSH has jumped by nearly 22% today to trade at $45.11, and earlier notched a record high of $45.52. This rally comes on the heels of a takeover bid from Pilgrim's Pride Corporation (NASDAQ:PPC). Meanwhile, Hillshire Brands Co's front-month options are relatively expensive right now, as the stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 38% sits at the top of its annual range.