Buzz Stocks: BlackBerry, Bank of America, Best Buy

Today's stocks to watch in the news include BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY), Bank of America Corp (BAC), and Best Buy Co Inc (BBY)

Jan 15, 2015 at 9:20 AM
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Futures are signaling a slightly higher open, as crude oil eyes an extended bounce. Meanwhile, among today's stocks to watch are smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY), financial firm Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), and big box retailer Best Buy Co Inc (NYSE:BBY).

  • BBRY rallied nearly 30% yesterday to close at $12.60 -- its highest settlement since June 27, 2013 -- on rumors of a reported takeover bid by Samsung. Today, however, the stock is poised to give back some of these gains, after the company slapped down the speculation, and said it "does not intend to comment further." Including yesterday's bounce, the security has surged nearly 47% over the past 52 weeks, yet most analysts remain unconvinced of the equity's ability to sustain this momentum. At present, 83% of those covering the shares maintain a "hold" or worse suggestion, while BlackBerry Ltd's average 12-month price target of $11.58 stands at a discount to last night's close. Should BBRY brush off today's pre-market drop and resume its longer-term uptrend, a round of upgrades and/or price-target hikes could help fuel its fire.

  • BAC is down 3% in electronic trading, after the banking giant posted a sharp drop in fourth-quarter profit and revenue. Specifically, Bank of America Corp said its quarterly profit plunged 11% to 25 cents per share, while revenue fell 13% to $18.73 million -- with both numbers falling short of consensus estimates. Technically speaking, the stock has struggled in 2015 -- down 10.3% to $16.04 -- yet analysts and options traders have taken a glass-half-full approach. Not only does the average 12-month price target of $18.77 stand in territory not charted since April 2010, but BAC's 50-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 4.82 rests in the 91st annual percentile. An unwinding of this optimism in the face of Bank of America Corp's technical troubles could translate into a fresh wave of selling pressure.

  • BBY is bracing for a 12% drop out of the gate, after the electronics chain offered up a dreary sales forecast for the first half of the year due to a number of factors. On the charts, the equity has performed well of late, and is up nearly 39% since taking a sharp bounce off its 200-day moving average in mid-October. More recently, upbeat outlooks from Goldman Sachs and Barron's had the shares flirting with a breakout above the round-number $40 mark. Against this backdrop, call buyers have been active, as evidenced by Best Buy Co Inc's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 2.32, which ranks higher than 64% of similar readings taken in the past year. With a healthy 8.3% of the equity's float sold short, though, some of this activity may have been at the hands of short sellers hedging their bearish bets.

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