Buzz Stocks: Michael Kors, Tiffany & Co, Hormel Foods

Today's stocks to watch in the news include Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (NYSE:KORS), Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF), and Hormel Foods Corp (NYSE:HRL)

May 27, 2015 at 9:28 AM
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Stocks are signaling a rebound, following yesterday's sharp sell-off. Meanwhile, among specific equities in focus are retailers Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (NYSE:KORS) and Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF), as well as meat manufacturer Hormel Foods Corp (NYSE:HRL).

  • To the delight of option traders, KORS is bracing for a 17% drop out of the gate -- and is on its way to two-year lows -- after the firm posted its slowest quarter of revenue growth since its December 2011 IPO. Additionally, Michael Kors Holdings Ltd missed analysts' fiscal fourth-quarter profit forecast, and offered up a full-year outlook that arrived below expectations. Today's projected bear gap just mirrors the stock's longer-term trajectory, with KORS down nearly 37% year-over-year. A round of downgrades and/or price-target cuts could be on the horizon, which may apply additional pressure to the security. Currently, 36% of covering analysts still maintain a "buy" or better rating, while the average 12-month price target of $81.65 represents expected upside of 35% to last night's close at $60.59.

  • TIF, on the other hand, unveiled better-than-expected first-quarter results, sending the shares higher in electronic trading. Longer term, though, shares of TIF have struggled near the $90 mark since taking a forecast-induced dive in mid-January, and settled Tuesday at $85.53. Option traders have kept the faith, however, and at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), they have bought to open 6.70 calls for each put in the last two weeks. What's more, this ratio ranks just 5 percentage points from a 52-week peak, meaning long calls have been initiated over long puts at a near-annual-high clip. Should Tiffany & Co. again stall in the $90 region, an unwinding of this optimism could send the shares lower.

  • HRL is throwing its hat into the natural-food ring, agreeing to purchase organic meat maker Applegate Farms for $775 million -- the company's largest acquisition to date. "Clearly, the natural and organic space is a dynamic and growing category," commented Hormel Foods Corp CEO Jeffrey M. Ettinger. "We really look at it as a movement and not a fad, and the Applegate team has been a leader in that marketplace." Wall Street is cheering the news, with HRL up 4.4% ahead of the bell, and on pace to add to its 8.7% year-to-date advance, as of Tuesday's close at $56.61. Should the stock continue its uptrend, option traders may be encouraged to switch sides. The stock's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 2.00 sits higher than 88% of all similar readings taken in the past year, meaning speculators have bought to open puts over calls at a faster-than-usual clip in recent months.


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