Buzz Stocks: Microsoft Corporation, Lakeland Industries, Inc., and Level 3 Communications, Inc.

Today's stocks to watch include MSFT, LAKE, and LVLT

by Karee Venema

Published on Oct 30, 2014 at 9:10 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Futures have pared the worst of their losses this morning, as the advance reading on third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) surpassed expectations. Among equities in focus are blue chip Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), protective gear maker Lakeland Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:LAKE), and integrated communications specialist Level 3 Communications, Inc. (NYSE:LVLT).

  • MSFT officially threw its hat in the digital health ring, announcing a wearable device that will monitor the sleep and exercise of the user, with the data stored in the company's new app called "Microsoft Health." The band will be available in limited amounts starting today at a price of $199. Technically speaking, it's been a standout year for Microsoft Corporation, with the shares up nearly 25% to trade at $46.62. Not everyone has climbed on board the equity's uptrend, which could spell additional gains for the shares down the road. In fact, the majority of analysts covering the stock maintain a tepid "hold" rating, while the consensus 12-month price target of $49.21 stands at a slim 5.6% premium to current trading levels. Simply stated, the door is wide open for a round of upgrades and/or price-target hikes, which could translate into a fresh wave of buying power.

  • LAKE is poised to pop nearly 40% out of the gate, after the company said it has received orders for roughly 1 million protective suits amid the global Ebola crisis. Additionally, Lakeland Industries, Inc. expects two of its protective suit lines to double in capacity by January. Today's projected price movement is just more of the same for a stock that's up almost 67% month-to-date to linger at $11.58. Traders seem to be bracing for a steep fall from grace, though. Short interest rose exponentially over the past two reporting periods, and now accounts for nearly 48% of the stock's available float.

  • LVLT is up 3% in pre-market trading, following news the stock has earned a spot on the S&P 500 Index (SPX), and will replace Jabil Circuit, Inc. (NYSE:JBL) after next Tuesday's close. Year-to-date, the shares have tacked on 34.4% to trade at $44.59, and should the stock continue this uptrend, a shift in sentiment could help propel it even higher. Short interest, for example, accounts for 10.6% of the stock's available float, and would take nearly seven sessions to cover, at average daily trading levels. Elsewhere, the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.70 ranks in the 80th percentile of its annual range, meaning short-term traders are more put-skewed than usual toward Level 3 Communications, Inc.

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