Buzz Stocks: bluebird bio, Inc., CRH PLC, and Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited

Today's stocks to watch in the news include bluebird bio Inc (BLUE), CRH PLC (ADR) (CRH), and Yingli Green Energy Hold. Co. Ltd. (ADR) (YGE)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Feb 2, 2015 at 9:22 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

U.S. benchmarks are headed higher ahead of the bell, as traders digest Exxon Mobil Corporation's (NYSE:XOM) latest earnings report, as well as a wider-than-expected drop in consumer spending for December. In company news, today's stocks to watch include biotech issue bluebird bio Inc (NASDAQ:BLUE), building materials firm CRH PLC (ADR) (NYSE:CRH), and solar concern Yingli Green Energy Hold. Co. Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:YGE).

  • BLUE is pointed 7.6% higher ahead of the bell, after its beta-thalassemia major treatment received the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) "breakthrough therapy" designation. "In light of the breakthrough designation, we look forward to working even more closely with the FDA to expedite the development of LentiGlobin for the treatment of beta-thalassemia major," the company's chief medical officer said in a statement. Taking a step back, it's been a banner year for bluebird bio Inc, which has more than quadrupled in value over the last 12 months to trade at $92.91. Not surprisingly, all of the analysts covering the shares have handed out "strong buy" recommendations. Plus, BLUE's consensus 12-month price target of $120.50 stands at a roughly 30% premium to current trading levels, and in uncharted territory.

  • CRH is buying $7.4 billion worth of assets from Lafarge and Holcim, two of its competitors that are planning to merge. The deal will make CRH PLC the third largest building materials supplier on the planet. The news has the company's shares nearly 5% higher in electronic trading, and since bottoming at an annual low of $19.95 in mid-October, they've advanced 21% to settle at $24.14. Helping the stock higher has been a rush of short-covering activity, as short interest in CRH plummeted 21.5% in the latest reporting period.

  • A number of alternative energy names, including YGE, are pointed higher on news that China will increase its use of renewable energy this year. Specifically, the nation plans to install 15 gigawatts (GWs) of solar power in 2015 -- a 43% year-over-year increase. The news could provide a much-needed boost to Yingli Green Energy Hold. Co. Ltd., which has tumbled 69.3% over the last 52 weeks to trade at $1.87. In fact, the security touched an annual low of $1.86 on Thursday. These long-term technical struggles have prompted the attention of short sellers. More than 14% of YGE's float is dedicated to short interest, which would take approximately two weeks to buy back, at average daily trading volumes.

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