Stocks On the Move: ICU Medical, Inc., China Finance Online Co. (ADR), and Pernix Therapeutics Holdings Inc

ICUI, JRJC, and PTX are moving sharply in Tuesday's trading

Nov 11, 2014 at 1:32 PM
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Both the Dow and S&P 500 Index (SPX) are sticking close the flatline, after earlier notching fresh record intraday peaks. There are a number of equities making notable moves, however, including medical equipment specialist ICU Medical, Incorporated (NASDAQ:ICUI), Beijing-based finance firm China Finance Online Co. (ADR) (NASDAQ:JRJC), and pharmaceutical name Pernix Therapeutics Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PTX). Here's a closer look at how ICUI, JRJC, and PTX are performing on the charts so far.

  • ICUI tagged a record peak of $87.50 right out of the gate, but was last seen up 13.7% at $81.68, after the company's third-quarter earnings beat and upwardly revised full-year profit forecast was met with a round of bullish brokerage notes. Roth Capital, for example, raised its outlook to "buy" from "neutral," and boosted its price target by $26 to $82. Piper Jaffray, meanwhile, upped its rating to "overweight" from "neutral, while Raymond James increased its price target by $8 to $85, and underscored its "strong buy" recommendation. Should the stock extend this post-earnings momentum, another round of upgrades and/or price-target hikes could be on the horizon. At present, two of the four analysts covering ICU Medical, Incorporated maintain a "hold" suggestion -- versus two "strong buys" -- while the consensus 12-month price target of $71.20 stands at a nearly 13% discount to current trading levels.

  • JRJC has rallied more than 16% to linger near $7.50, on news of a freshly inked web-trading partnership with Great Wall Securities. Since taking a sharp bounce off their 320-day moving average in mid-October, shares of China Finance Online Co. (ADR) have tacked on almost 68% -- a move that has not gone unnoticed by option traders. In fact, over the past 10 sessions, speculators at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) have bought to open 12.78 calls for each put. With nearly 16% of the stock's float sold short, though, a portion of this activity could be at the hands of short sellers hedging against any additional upside. Regardless of the reason, the equity's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 99% ranks just 4 percentage points from a 52-week low, meaning the equity's front-month options have rarely been cheaper, from a volatility perspective.

  • PTX topped out at a new three-year high of $11.58 earlier, but was most recently seen 14.1% higher at $11.31. Stoking today's bullish flames are the company's third-quarter revenue beat, and price-target hikes from Guggenheim (to $11) and Needham (to $12), with the brokerage firms reiterating their respective "neutral" and "strong buy" recommendations. Today's positive price action just echoes the equity's withstanding technical prowess, with shares of PTX more than quadrupling in value on a year-to-date basis. On the sentiment front, traders at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX have bought to open 42.67 calls for every put over the past 10 sessions. Some of this activity may have been a result of shorts hedging, considering 15.4% of the security's float is sold short. Should Pernix Therapeutics Holdings Inc maintain its upward trajectory, there is ample fuel for a short-covering rally to help push the shares higher. In fact, it would take more than a week to cover all of PTX's shorted shares, at average daily trading volumes.

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