Buzz Stocks: Verizon, Pall Co, Int Flavors & Fragrances

Today's stocks to watch in the news include Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), Pall Corporation (PLL), and International Flavors & Fragrances Inc (IFF)

May 12, 2015 at 9:15 AM
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U.S. markets appear poised for a rocky start to the day, with futures pointed sharply lower ahead of the bell. In company news, today's stocks to watch include blue chip Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), filtration firm Pall Corporation (NYSE:PLL), and scent security International Flavors & Fragrances Inc (NYSE:IFF).

  • VZ has agreed to purchase AOL, Inc. (NYSE:AOL) for $4.4 billion in cash, or $50 per share. "This acquisition supports our strategy to provide a cross-screen connection for consumers, creators and advertisers to deliver that premium customer experience," said Lowell McAdam, CEO of Verizon Communications Inc. Turning to the charts, the round-number $50 level has served as both support and resistance over the past three months for VZ, and it doesn't appear the acquisition will lead to a breakout -- as shares of the telecom giant are off slightly ahead of the bell, after finishing at $49.80 yesterday. However, the brokerage bunch remains bullish, with 17 of 24 analysts rating VZ a "buy" or better, compared to seven "hold" recommendations and not a single "sell."

  • PLL is set to storm 21% higher out of the gate, as the company is reportedly on the verge of being purchased for more than $10 billion. The anticipated upside gap would mark a change of pace for the stock, which has lost 1.9% in 2015 to rest at $99.31, and has been struggling to muscle back atop the $100 century level for the last month. One group that could get burnt today is short sellers. At Pall Corporation's average daily trading volume, it would take shorts nearly eight sessions to buy back their bearish bets.

  • IFF is fresh off a first-quarter earnings beat, and the company's CEO is hopeful about the future, saying, "we expect all of our key financial metrics to be in line with our long-term targets in 2015." Technically speaking, International Flavors & Fragrances Inc has had a rock-solid year, advancing 17.7% in 2015 to sit at $119.30 -- and taking a recent bounce off its 80-day moving average. However, short-term option traders are more put-skewed than normal, according to the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.92, which ranks in the 88th percentile of its annual range.

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