Buzz Stocks: Verizon Communications Inc., Yum! Brands, Inc., and Team Health Holdings LLC

Today's stocks to watch include Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), Yum! Brands, Inc. (YUM), and Team Health Holdings LLC (TMH)

by Mark Fightmaster

Published on Oct 20, 2015 at 9:53 AM
Updated on Oct 20, 2015 at 9:58 AM

U.S. benchmarks are lower this morning, as blue-chip earnings and continued commodity weakness weigh on investors. Today's equities in focus are Dow component Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), restaurant operator Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM), and healthcare staffing firm Team Health Holdings LLC (NYSE:TMH).

  1. Dow component VZ is 0.4% higher at $44.88 this morning, after the company topped Wall Street's third-quarter earnings expectations. Verizon Communications Inc.'s earnings beat was attributed to sales and tablet promotions that attracted more subscribers, combined with price cuts by smaller rivals. Technically, VZ has fallen more than 10% since backing down from $50 in early May, succumbing to pressure from its 10- and 20-week moving averages. Despite the stock's drop, analysts maintain a bullish stance on the communications giant, as 15 of the 24 brokerages covering the firm rate it a "buy" or better. Should the equity continue to struggle under resistance, downgrades from this bullish bunch could exacerbate VZ's technical troubles.
  • TMH is 14.5% higher at $60.19, after reports surfaced that the company received a $7.8 billion cash-and-stock bid from AmSurg Corp. (NASDAQ:AMSG). The proposed merger values TMH at $71.47 per share (a 36% premium over the stock's close of $52.50 yesterday), and ownership would be split 50-50 between the shareholders of both companies. Team Health Holdings LLC reportedly rebuffed the offer in September, so AMSG went public with the news to try and force TMH to the negotiating table. 

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