Buzz Stocks: Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc, Barrett Business Services, Inc., and Canadian Solar Inc.

Today's stocks to watch include Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (VRX), Barrett Business Services, Inc. (BBSI), and Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ)

by Andrea Kramer

Published on Nov 10, 2015 at 9:27 AM
Updated on Nov 10, 2015 at 9:35 AM

U.S. stocks are lower this morning, as speculators weigh trade data and a notable energy report. Among the equities in focus are scandal-riddled drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX), staffing concern Barrett Business Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:BBSI), and alternative energy issue Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ:CSIQ).

  • VRX has been swinging wildly ahead of the bell, and is poised to drop 0.6% out of the gate, as traders digest the company's pre-market conference call (subscription required) -- a move encouraged by activist investor Bill Ackman. So far, Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc has said notorious specialty pharmacy Philidor will cease operations by the end of January at the latest, warned of a "significant" short-term disruption to its pharmacy business, and said the lion's share of next year's cash flow will go toward debt reduction. VRX has been struggling since a damning Oct. 21 report from Citron Research, which yesterday set its sights on a new target. The equity's 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) is in oversold territory at 29, suggesting a short-term bounce might be in the cards. VRX settled at $85.41 yesterday.
  • BBSI is set to plummet 35.6%, after an independent auditor discovered evidence of illegal activity regarding Barrett Business Services, Inc.'s workers' compensation expense reserve. "I fully support the current investigation, and I am eager to get to the bottom of any issues so that the organization can focus on the important work we do every day, said Barrett President and CEO Michael Elich. As expected, BBSI filed for a non-timely 10-Q for the third quarter. Prior to today, BBSI was sitting on a 92.5% gain year-to-date, closing yesterday at $52.75, after notching an annual high of $53. The stock's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 5.50 suggests a few recent option buyers could be kicking rocks today. 
  • CSIQ is up 8.1% in pre-market action, after the company reported stronger-than-expected earnings. In addition, the firm announced plans to expand production in 2016, and said it expects to sell three projects in Canada. Option buyers will likely celebrate the news. The stock sports a 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 9.1 -- in the 97th percentile of its annual range. In other words, option traders have picked up Canadian Solar Inc. calls over puts at a near-annual-high clip during the past two weeks. The shares of CSIQ have made significant headway since hitting an annual low of $14.16 in late August, settling yesterday at $23.03. What's more, today's expected jump should put CSIQ back in the black, on a year-to-date basis.

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