Buzz Stocks: Chesapeake Energy, GE, TripAdvisor

Today's stocks to watch in the news include CHK, GE, and TRIP

Nov 5, 2014 at 9:17 AM
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Futures are pointed decisively higher ahead of the open, as investors cheer last night's election results. In company news, today's stocks to watch include oil-and-gas issue Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK), tech and financial conglomerate General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), and travel website TripAdvisor Inc (NASDAQ:TRIP).

  • CHK is sitting about 4.3% higher in pre-market hours, after the company topped third-quarter profit and sales expectations. Despite being impacted by low prices and a lack of natural gas pipelines, Chesapeake Energy Corporation has benefited from increased efficiency, according to CEO Doug Lawler. The executive is also behind some of the firm's recent asset sales, the proceeds of which are being used to address debt. On the charts, it's been a rough year for the shares, which have dropped 17% to rest at $21.29, pressured in recent months by their descending 10-week moving average. Meanwhile, options traders have been bearishly skewed in the weeks leading up to earnings. Specifically, CHK's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.85 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) stands at a 12-month extreme high. In other words, during the past year, speculators have never picked up puts, relative to calls, at a faster rate.

  • GE has received approval from the French government to buy certain assets from engineering firm Alstom SA for $17 billion. In addition, the two companies will cooperate in three equally owned joint ventures to oversee the power equipment Alstom didn't sell to General Electric Company. On the charts, shares of the U.S. company have sagged 8.3% in 2014, closing yesterday at $25.70 -- just below resistance at their 200-day moving average, located at $25.92. Not surprisingly, bearish betting has picked up in the stock's options pits lately. GE's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 0.48 ranks in the 90th percentile of its annual range.

  • Finally, TRIP is getting pummeled this morning, following a big third-quarter earnings miss -- though revenue exceeded the Street's expectations. Weighing on the firm's profit was a 64% rise in sales and marketing costs. At last check, the shares are about 13% below last night's close at $83.79, which would land them in negative year-to-date territory. While the brokerage bunch was split heading into earnings -- with 10 total "buys" versus 10 "holds," as well as an ambitious $105.29 price target -- last night's results have analysts running in a bearish direction. In fact, no fewer than 14 brokerage firms have lowered their price targets, while BofA-Merrill Lynch downgraded TRIP to "underperform" from "buy," and Pacific Crest lowered its assessment to "sector perform" from "outperform."

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