Stocks On the Move: Carnival Corporation, ITT Educational Services, Inc., and Repros Therapeutics Inc

CCL, ESI, and RPRX are moving sharply in Friday's trading

Oct 17, 2014 at 12:22 PM
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U.S. stocks are bouncing back today, as traders cheer a round of solid earnings reports. Among the names making significant moves are cruise operator Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL), for-profit education concern ITT Educational Services, Inc. (NYSE:ESI), and drugmaker Repros Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:RPRX). Here's a quick look at how CCL, ESI, and RPRX are faring on the charts today.

  • It's been a wild ride for CCL, which dropped nearly 2% out of the gate, due to concerns about a potential Ebola case aboard one of its cruise ships. However, the fears have since subsided, with CCL now 1.5% higher at $35.22. From a longer-term standpoint, the shares of Carnival Corporation have dropped 12.4% year-to-date, and the stock's 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) now sits at 32 -- on the cusp of oversold territory. In the options pits, meanwhile, traders have been gambling on more downside for CCL. 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 2.55 stands higher than 87% of all other readings from the past year, pointing to a healthier-than-usual appetite for long puts over calls of late.

  • ESI has skyrocketed 78.3% to $9.99 -- making it the biggest advancer on the Big Board, and sparking a temporary halt -- and peaked at $11.75 in early trading, marking its first foray into double-digit territory since early August. Bolstering the stock, ITT Educational Services, Inc. said it signed up more students than expected in the most recent quarter, suggesting demand for for-profit education providers is on the mend. Prior to today, ESI was flailing on the charts, and still sits 70% lower year-to-date. In fact, the equity has underperformed the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by 60 percentage points during the past three months, so it's no surprise that short interest makes up a whopping 82% of the equity's total available float. These bearish bets represent more than seven sessions' worth of pent-up buying demand, at ESI's average pace of trading, so a short-squeeze situation could add fuel to the equity's fire.

  • RPRX, on the other hand, is the biggest Nasdaq loser thus far, down 36% at $6.75. Earlier in the session, the shares touched a two-year nadir of $6.01, due to a regulatory blow for its testosterone treatment. The equity is now sitting on the short-sale restricted (SSR) list, sending bears to the options pits instead. So far today, the stock has seen more than 7,000 puts change hands -- 15 times the norm, and more than seven times the number of RPRX calls exchanged. In light of today's drop, Repros Therapeutics Inc has surrendered 63% in 2014, and could be vulnerable to a reversal in sentiment among the brokerage crowd. Seventy-five percent of the analysts following RPRX maintain "strong buy" opinions, and the consensus 12-month price target of $28.30 stands more than 300% higher than the stock's current price.
 

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