Buzz Stocks: KYTHERA Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Ltd.

Today's stocks to watch in the news include Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:KYTH), Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:SGYP), and Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd (NYSE:QIHU)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Jun 17, 2015 at 9:15 AM

U.S. stocks are poised to open higher, ahead of the Fed's highly anticipated policy statement this afternoon. In company news, today's stocks to watch include drugmakers Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:KYTH) and Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:SGYP), as well as Chinese Internet firm Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd (NYSE:QIHU)

  • KYTH is set to surge 22.5% at the open -- and notch a record high -- after the company agreed to be acquired by Allergan PLC (NYSE:AGN) for upwards of $2.1 billion in cash and stock, or $75 per share. The per-share purchase price represents a 23.5% premium to Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc's close at $60.72 yesterday. This upward momentum is more of the same for a stock that's already rallied 75% year-to-date -- and hit an all-time peak of $61.97 on Tuesday. Short sellers are likely feeling the heat this morning, as 27.7% of KYTH's float is sold short -- representing more than 12 days' worth of trading, at typical volumes.

  • SGYP is up more than 53% in electronic trading, after the firm released encouraging results from a late-stage trial on its idiopathic constipation drug. The company intends to apply for regulatory approval in the fourth quarter. As of yesterday's close at $4.64, Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc was 52% higher in 2015, and this morning's expected bull gap should put it in territory not explored since April 2013. Despite these impressive gains, short-term options traders have rarely been more put-skewed toward the equity. SGYP's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.78 ranks in the 99th percentile of its annual range.

  • Finally, QIHU received a buyout offer from a Chinese consortium led by billionaire CEO Hongyi Zhou, valuing the company at $77 per American depositary share (ADR) -- or a 16.6% mark-up to yesterday's close at $66.05. As such, the stock is poised to jump 10% at the open, adding to its 15.4% advance since the year began. This is excellent news for recent call buyers at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd's 10-day call/put volume ratio across that trio of exchanges is 8.74 -- an annual high.


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