Buzz Stocks: JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd., Cardinal Health, Inc., and Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Today's stocks to watch in the news include JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. (ADR) (NASDAQ:JASO), Cardinal Health Inc (NYSE:CAH), and ISIS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISIS)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Jun 5, 2015 at 9:27 AM

U.S. benchmarks are poised to take a step back this morning, as a strong nonfarm payrolls report raises expectations of an imminent Fed rate hike. In company news, today's stocks to watch include alternative energy name JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. (ADR) (NASDAQ:JASO), healthcare firm Cardinal Health Inc (NYSE:CAH), and drugmaker ISIS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISIS)

  • JASO CEO Baofang Jin has offered to take the company private for close to $490 million, or $9.69 per American Depositary Share. The proposal represents almost 20% upside from last night's close at $8.08, and has the shares over 14% higher ahead of the bell. This reversal is much needed, as JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. has lost one-quarter of its value since its late-April high of $10.80. Not surprisingly, puts have been the options of choice among short-term speculators. JASO's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.72 outranks 88% of comparable readings from the past year. On the other hand, analysts are, for the most part, optimistic -- with 75% calling the shares a "buy" or better.

  • CAH announced plans to buy generic drug distributor The Harvard Drug Group for just over $1.1 billion in cash and debt. Cardinal Health Inc also raised its fiscal 2016 earnings forecast in response to the deal. On the charts, the stock has performed well over the last 52 weeks, rallying nearly 24% atop support from its 20-week moving average to rest at $87.61. The brokerage bunch, meanwhile, has been upbeat toward CAH, with 12 analysts doling out "buy" or better ratings, versus three "holds" and not a single "sell."

  • Finally, ISIS has reached a license agreement with Bayer HealthCare to develop and market anti-clotting medication ISIS-FXIRx -- which ISIS recently sold to Bayer. The news has sent shares of ISIS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 2% higher in electronic trading -- more of the same for a stock that's more than doubled in value year-over-year, at $64.33. Short sellers could be on edge. Roughly 14% of ISIS' float is sold short, representing more than six days of trading activity, at average single-session volumes.

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