Buzz Stocks: Citigroup, Perrigo, and Sony Corp

Today's stocks to watch in the news include C, PRGO, and SNE

Nov 6, 2014 at 9:19 AM
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U.S. stocks are churning modestly lower this morning, as traders express caution ahead of several speeches by Fed officials, and tomorrow's nonfarm payrolls report. In company news, today's stocks to watch include financial titan Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C), healthcare firm Perrigo Company plc Ordinary Shares (NYSE:PRGO), and electronics power Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE).

  • C's Japanese consumer banking business is likely to attract four suitors, when the second round of bidding gets underway Friday. During the first round, the highest offer was roughly 50 billion yen -- though bidders in the second round can offer less, following a closer inspection of the unit's financials. Elsewhere, shares of Citigroup Inc have tacked on a healthy 11.1% year-over-year to rest at $54.02, after recently taking a bounce off of their 200-day moving average. Nevertheless, skepticism has been running high in the options pits. C's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 0.54 ranks in the top quartile of its annual range, suggesting traders have picked up puts over calls at a much faster-than-usual pace. An unwinding of this skepticism could provide a tailwind for the stock.

  • Ireland-based healthcare firmPRGO has agreed to purchase Belgium's Omega Pharma NV for roughly $3.11 billion to boost its portfolio of over-the-counter offerings. Among the types of products Perrigo Company plc will acquire in the deal are wart treatments, suntan lotions, and prescription-free drugs manufactured by Omega. PRGO -- which closed at $158.50 last night -- is comfortably higher ahead of the bell, despite a fiscal first-quarter earnings miss. On the sentiment front, while the shares are sitting just 3.3% above year-to-date breakeven, the brokerage bunch has become a big fan of the equity. Specifically, 11 out of 14 covering analysts have given PRGO a "buy" or better rating, versus three "holds" and not a single "sell."

  • Finally, SNE has added shows produced by CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS) to the lineup of its cloud-based TV service. Sony Corp (ADR) believes the service represents the future of cable television, with live channels and on-demand programming accessible across an array of devices. SNE previously reached a similar carriage deal with Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB). Moving along, Sony has performed well in 2014, adding nearly 17% to close yesterday at $20.18, and since hitting a mid-October low of $16.57, has bounced 21.8% higher. Nevertheless, the stock has racked up a 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 0.92 -- in the 96th percentile of its annual range, signaling a strong preference for bearish bets over bullish. Of course, a portion of this put buying may have been at the hands of shareholders hedging against an unexpected downturn.
 

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