Buzz Stocks: Netflix, El Pollo Loco, Pernix Therapeutics

Today's stocks to watch in the news include Netflix, Inc. (NFLX), El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc (LOCO), and Pernix Therapeutics Holdings Inc (PTX)

May 15, 2015 at 9:22 AM
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U.S. markets are poised to end the week on a high note, following dovish remarks from European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi. In company news, today's stocks to watch include streaming video giant Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), chicken champion El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:LOCO), and drugmaker Pernix Therapeutics Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PTX).

  • NFLX is reportedly in discussions with several potential partners -- including Wasu Media Holding -- to throw its hat into China's streaming video ring. Netflix, Inc. supposedly needs a collaborator that possesses licenses for mobile devices, PCs, and other platforms. This news is boosting the stock ahead of the bell, as the shares were last seen 3.6% higher -- ready to add to their 72% year-to-date lead. In fact, NFLX is on pace to take out its record high of $594 -- touched as recently as Monday -- at the open. Given the equity's phenomenal technical track record, it may be surprising to hear that more than one-third of covering analysts still maintain "hold" or worse recommendations. What's more, NFLX's consensus 12-month price target of $574.05 stands at a discount to Thursday's close at $586.85. This could pave the way for a round of bullish brokerage notes.

  • LOCO is in trouble ahead of the open, down more than 13% due to a disappointing outlook and same-store sales. On the other hand, the restaurant chain's quarterly earnings and revenue came in above estimates. This represents quite the reversal in El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc's technical fortunes, as the shares have rallied 45.5% year-to-date to trade at $29.06. Meanwhile, short sellers are looking forward to the expected gap lower. Nearly 30% of LOCO's float is sold short, which would take more than a week to cover, at typical daily trading levels.

  • PTX is up 8.2% in electronic trading, after the Food and Drug Administration gave a green light to the company's Treximet tablet for the treatment of migraines in children. The stock could use the help, as it's lost 31.2% year-to-date to rest at $6.46. Given these losses, it's no shock to see that one-quarter of Pernix Therapeutics Holdings Inc's float is dedicated to short interest. What is surprising is the fact that 80% of covering analysts rate PTX a  "strong buy."

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