Buzz Stocks: BlackBerry, CVS Health, Talisman Energy

Today's stocks to watch in the news include BBRY, CVS, and TLM

Dec 16, 2014 at 9:15 AM
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Intensifying fears about the future of Russia's economy are pressuring U.S. futures lower this morning. In company news, today's stocks to watch include handset maker BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY), pharmacy chain CVS Health Corp (NYSE:CVS), and oil-and-gas producer Talisman Energy Inc. (USA) (NYSE:TLM).

  • BBRY is selling enterprise services to Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD), the latter of which secured an $850 million loan from Export Development Canada (EDC), the nation's independent financial arm. "Vodafone's global presence makes it a company that Canada's telecom sector has to have a relationship with," EDC Senior Vice President Carl Burlock said. BlackBerry Ltd is rising ahead of the bell on this news, and is already up 52.2% year-over-year to trade at $9.43. A continued run up the charts could prompt analysts to rethink their negative stance toward the equity, via a round of upgrades. Despite its technical tenacity, BBRY has received just one "buy" rating, versus 14 "holds" and four total "sell" recommendations.

  • CVS revealed a new $10 billion share repurchasing initiative that will last for the next several years, adding to an already existing $2.7 billion buyback program. Additionally, the firm said it will up its quarterly dividend by 27% to 35 cents per share early next year. On the charts, CVS Health Corp has rallied an impressive 32.6% year-over-year to perch at $89.87, and outstripped the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by 11.8 percentage points over the last three months. Option traders, however, aren't necessarily on the stock's bullish bandwagon. During the last two weeks at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), CVS has racked up a put/call volume ratio of 0.76, in the 72nd percentile of its annual range. Of course, a portion of these bets may have been at the hands of shareholders hedging against a potential pullback.

  • Finally, recent takeover talks between TLM and Repsol SA have borne fruit, as the latter has agreed to purchase the former for $13 billion. Madrid-based Repsol has sought a foothold in the North American energy market for some time, and CEO Josu Jon Imaz said he was eager to secure the deal since "our valuation of Talisman assets is higher than the price we are paying." TLM is soaring on the news, up nearly 48% ahead of the bell, despite a price-target cut to $5 from $7 at Barclays. This could be bad news for option traders, who are decidedly more bearish toward the equity than usual. TLM's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 0.48 ranks higher than 88% of similar readings taken in the last year.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article misstated the nature of the BBRY/VOD deal. We apologize for the error.


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