Buzz Stocks: Urban Outfitters, Twitter, Sarepta Therapeutics

Today's stocks to watch in the news include URBN, TWTR, and SRPT

Oct 17, 2014 at 8:51 AM
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U.S. stocks are headed higher ahead of the bell, as traders applaud strong blue-chip earnings and await a speech from Fed Chair Janet Yellen. Among the equities in focus, today's stocks to watch include retailer Urban Outfitters, Inc. (NASDAQ:URBN), microblogging issue Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), and drugmaker Sarepta Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:SRPT).

  • URBN is poised to plunge 13.5% out of the gate -- and could explore two-year lows -- after the firm issued a profit warning. As a result, Urban Outfitters, Inc. is navigating a barrage of bearish brokerage notes; among them, Goldman Sachs downgraded URBN to "neutral" from "buy" and removed it from "America's buy list," while slicing its price target to $31 from $44 -- a discount to the equity's closing price of $34.56 on Thursday. Similarly, Janney reduced its fair value on URBN to $32 from $41 and downgraded the stock to "neutral" from "buy." URBN has already shed 6.8% in 2014, and the company will unveil its fiscal third-quarter results after the close on Monday, Nov. 17.

  • TWTR is headed 2% higher in pre-market action, after the company said it's partnering with SoundCloud to debut a streaming audio service. Since skimming the $30 region in May, the shares of Twitter Inc have tacked on roughly 61% to land at $48.23 on Thursday. What's more, the equity has outperformed the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by more than 41 percentage points during the past three months, yet 13 out of 28 analysts maintain "hold" or "strong sell" opinions. Likewise, short interest rocketed 19.5% higher during the most recent reporting period. Should the stock extend its longer-term uptrend, or should the company report stronger-than-expected earnings later this month, a flood of upgrades or a short-squeeze situation could add fuel to the security's fire.

  • Finally, SRPT is on pace to open 9% higher, thanks to encouraging data on its experimental Ebola drug. The shares of SRPT finished at $22.30 on Thursday, and are sitting on a year-to-date gain of 9.5%. Option traders, however, have been upping the bearish ante. On the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the equity's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.58 stands higher than 83% of all other readings from the past year, pointing to a healthier-than-usual appetite for long puts over calls during the past two weeks. In the same skeptical vein, short interest accounts for nearly 36% of Sarepta Therapeutics Inc's total float, and would take nearly 14 sessions to buy back, at the stock's average pace of trading -- plenty of fuel for a potential short-covering boost.

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