Buzz Stocks: Tesla, Chipotle, BioCryst Pharmaceuticals

Today's stocks to watch include Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA), Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (CMG), and BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (BCRX)

Jan 14, 2015 at 9:36 AM
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Markets have dropped sharply out of the gate, after the World Bank cut its global growth forecasts for this year and next, and retail sales contracted by a wider margin than expected. Meanwhile, in company news, today's stocks to watch include electric car concern Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), burrito chain Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG), and drugmaker BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX).

  • TSLA is down more than 7%, after CEO Elon Musk said fourth-quarter sales in China slowed amid a lack of charging stations, and, on a non-adjusted basis, projected the company may not reach profitability until 2020. Technically speaking, it's been a slow start to the year for TSLA, which is down 15%. While skepticism has been ramping up in the options pits, most analysts remain devoted to Tesla Motors Inc. Currently, there are eight "buy" or better recommendations levied toward the stock, versus five "holds" or worse. Plus, TSLA's average 12-month price target of $273.21 stands at a 44.3% premium to the stock's current perch at $189.34. Should the stock continue to struggle, a round of downgrades and/or price-target cuts could translate into a fresh wave of selling pressure.

  • CMG said it has suspended pork sales at roughly one-third of its locations, citing noncompliance with animal-welfare standards at one of its suppliers. On the charts, CMG has been a long-term standout, tacking on 34.7% over the past 52 weeks. What's more, the shares hit their highest perch on record -- $727.97 -- last Thursday before easing back to their current perch at $714.06. Not surprisingly, optimism has been growing toward the outperformer. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), for example, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.'s 10-day call/put volume ratio of 1.20 ranks 6 percentage points from an annual bullish peak.

  • The European Medicines Agency gave an upbeat review on BCRX's application for orphan status for its hereditary angioedema treatment, sending shares of the stock 0.5% higher at the open to $11.49. As a result, the equity has moved back into the black on a year-over-year basis -- most likely to the dismay of short sellers. Short interest jumped 3.7% in the most recent reporting period, and now accounts for more than one-fifth of the stock's available float. Additionally, it would take more than nine sessions to cover these shorted shares, at average daily trading levels. However, it appears a number of these short sellers may have been hedging their bearish bets against any upside.

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