Buzz Stocks: Nike, Orexigen Therapeutics, and Xerox

Today's stocks to watch in the news include NKE, OREX, and XRX

Dec 19, 2014 at 9:17 AM
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U.S. equities are poised to end the week on a high note, with futures pointed sharply higher in pre-market trading. In company news, today's stocks to watch include athletic apparel titan Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE), drugmaker Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:OREX), and business support company Xerox Corp (NYSE:XRX).

  • NKE is sitting 1.5% lower ahead of the bell, despite reporting better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue figures. Overshadowing the solid results are disappointing global future orders, particularly in Japan and emerging markets. Taking a step back, Nike Inc has had a solid 2014, gaining 23.4% as of last night's close at $97.08, and recently bounced off its 50-day moving average. Nonetheless, the brokerage crowd is fairly divided on the shares, with 12 sporting "buy" opinions, compared to nine "holds." What's more, NKE's consensus 12-month price target of $101.56 is less than 5% from its current perch.

  • OREX's diet pill, known in the U.S. as Contrave, has been recommended for approval in Europe by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). As a result, the shares are pointed nearly 9% higher ahead of the open. Longer term, Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. has advanced almost 17% year-over-year to trade at $6.29. Should the stock continue to rally, short sellers may be forced to cover their bearish positions. Roughly 32% of OREX's float is sold short, which would take more than three weeks to cover, at the equity's typical daily trading volume.

  • Finally, XRX is up 1.2% in electronic trading, after the company agreed to sell its IT outsourcing unit to France-based Atos. The deal is worth just over $1 billion, and is expected to close in the first half of 2015. On the charts, Xerox Corp has tacked on approximately 18% since this time last year to rest at $13.89, ushered higher by its 40-week moving average. Still, analysts are skeptical of the shares, with more than half of the covering brokerage firms doling out "hold" or worse ratings. What's more, XRX's consensus 12-month price target sits at $13.77, a discount to last night's close. Should the stock maintain its upward momentum, it could benefit from upgrades and/or price-target hikes.

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