Buzz Stocks: Valeant Pharma, Life Time Fitness, Tesla

Today's stocks to watch in the news include Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (VRX), Life Time Fitness, Inc. (LTM), and Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA)

Alex Eppstein
Mar 16, 2015 at 9:29 AM
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U.S. benchmarks are eyeing a rebound this morning, with futures following their overseas counterparts higher. In company news, today's stocks to watch include drug developer Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX), gym operator Life Time Fitness, Inc. (NYSE:LTM), and Model S maker Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA).

  • VRX boosted its buyout offer for Salix Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SLXP) to $11.1 billion, or $173 per share, in cash -- up from its prior proposal of $158 per share. The sweetened bid was accepted by SLXP, while Endo International plc (NASDAQ:ENDP) pulled its competing offer from last week, valued at $175 per share in cash and stock. Ahead of the bell, Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc -- already up 38% year-to-date -- is sitting 1.2% north of Friday's close at $197.43. The brokerage bunch is bullish toward the shares, with 10 analysts doling out "buy" or better opinions, versus two "holds" and not a single "sell." Also, VRX's consensus 12-month price target of $279.13 stands in record-high territory.

  • LTM is set to pop 5.3% out of the gate, after the company agreed to a $4 billion buyout with affiliates of private equity firms Leonard Green & Partners and TPG. Shareholders will receive $72.10 in cash per share of Life Time Fitness, Inc. -- a more than 7% premium to Friday's close at $67.20. Meanwhile, in options land, short-term traders have displayed a stronger-than-usual preference for calls over puts. Specifically, LTM's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.53 indicates call open interest nearly doubles put open interest, among options with a shelf-life of three months or less. What's more, the current SOIR ranks lower than roughly two-thirds of all comparable readings from the past year.

  • Over the weekend, TSLA CEO Elon Musk announced a press conference for this Thursday that could "end range anxiety" for Model S owners, via a software update. Range anxiety describes the fear electric car owners have of running out of power while traveling, as access to chargers remains limited. On the charts, Tesla Motors Inc has had a rough start to 2015, dropping more than 15% to trade at $188.68 -- though the shares are 1.4% higher ahead of the bell. Options traders have been betting on additional downside. The stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio across the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) is 1.09, which ranks in the 86th percentile of its annual range.

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