Buzz Stocks: XenoPort, Inc., Gray Television, Inc., and Cisco Systems, Inc.

Today's stocks to watch include XenoPort, Inc. (XNPT), Gray Television, Inc. (GTV), and Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO)

by Mark Fightmaster

Published on Sep 15, 2015 at 10:21 AM

U.S. stocks are higher this morning as they try to push aside so-so data, pre-Fed nerves, and another drop in China. Today's equities in focus are biopharmaceutical firm XenoPort, Inc. (NASDAQ:XNPT), broadcasting company Gray Television, Inc. (NYSE:GTN), and blue chip Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO).

  1. XNPT reported positive top-line results from the Phase 2 clinical trial of its psoriasis treatment, XP23829. Unfortunately for XenoPort, Inc. the pre-market rally was short-lived, as the stock has now reversed, plunging to a one-year low of $5.04 at the opening bell. The stock is now trading 21.4% lower at $5.29. Prior to today, shares of the biopharmaceutical concern were kicking sideways in the $6-$8 region, and short sellers were betting on a break south. Short interest rose 29.2% during the past two reporting periods, and now represents 11% of XNPT's total available float. In light of today's plunge, though, XNPT has landed on the short-sale restricted list.
  • GTN is 9.8% higher at $12.88, after announcing that it is going to acquire all of Schurz Communications' television and radio stations in a $442.5 million deal. Gray Television, Inc. will now cover 49 TV markets in 28 states, and the company expects the purchase to be immediately accretive to free cash flow. This morning's jump brings GTN's year-to-date lead to 14.5%, and the stock is now poised to topple its 20-day moving average for the first time since early August. Short-term options players are more put-heavy than usual toward the TV firm, as its Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.82 is higher than 90% of the readings taken during the past 52 weeks. Likewise, short interest spiked 79.6% during the past two reporting periods. A mass exodus of bears could propel GTN even higher.   

  • CSCO is 0.1% higher at $25.73, despite news that FireEye Inc (NASDAQ:FEYE) found highly sophisticated malicious software implanted in CSCO routers. "This is the ultimate spying tool, the ultimate corporate espionage tool, the ultimate cybercrime tool," said FEYE CEO Dave DeWalt.  Cisco Systems, Inc. has struggled with the broader equities market during the past month, but has found support atop its 120-week moving average. Analysts remain optimistic, as 16 out of 24 maintain "buy" or better ratings.

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