Buzz Stocks: Priceline, Barrick Gold, and T-Mobile

Today's stocks to watch in the news include Priceline Group Inc (PCLN), Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX), and T-Mobile US Inc (TMUS)

Feb 19, 2015 at 9:38 AM
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The major market indexes are on pace to open modestly lower, as traders weigh a dip in crude oil prices and an ongoing stalemate between Greece and its international lenders. In company news, today's stocks to watch include online travel firm Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN), precious metals miner Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:ABX), and wireless service provider T-Mobile US Inc (NYSE:TMUS).

  • PCLN is up 7.3% to trade at $1,205.00 in the early going this morning, as a quarterly earnings beat overshadows lackluster guidance for the current period. This continues a trend of positive post-earnings reactions for Priceline Group Inc, and it's a much-needed shot in the arm for the stock. Through Wednesday's close, PCLN was down 1.5% since the start of the year, and the stock has formed a series of lower highs since last August. Short-term options traders appear to be bracing for a continuation of PCLN's recent slump, as the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.10 registers in the 94th annual percentile -- suggesting speculative players have rarely been more put-heavy during the past year.

  • ABX is also basking in the glow of a well-received earnings report, with the shares up 3.6% this morning at $12.66. As a result, the stock is now set to take out its 10-day and 20-day moving averages for the first time since Feb. 5. The company's quarterly results have elicited a mixed bag of brokerage notes for Barrick Gold Corporation this morning; while Jefferies started coverage with an iffy "hold" rating, Cowen and Company dropped its price target to $9.83 from $9.85, and TD Securities upped its opinion to "buy" from "hold." Broadly speaking, most analysts side with Jefferies. Among the 17 firms tracking ABX, no fewer than 14 maintain a "hold" recommendation on the shares.

  • TMUS rounds out today's trio of earnings winners, with the shares gaining 5.4% to $32.66 on the heels of its fourth-quarter figures. T-Mobile US Inc is now on track to crack through the troublesome $32 level, which has capped the equity's progress since an early August bearish gap. If some of the weaker bearish hands are caught off-guard by today's post-event rally, TMUS could benefit from a bout of short-covering activity. Following a 12.8% increase during the past two reporting periods, a healthy 6.2% of the stock's float is dedicated to short interest.

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