Buzz Stocks: General Motors Company, Cyberark Software Ltd, and Metlife Inc

Today's stocks to watch include General Motors Company (GM), Cyberark Software Ltd (CYBR), and Metlife Inc (MET)

Jan 13, 2016 at 9:27 AM
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U.S. stocks are signaling a strong start amid a rebound in oil futures. Among the equities in focus are automaker General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), cybersecurity firm Cyberark Software Ltd (NASDAQ:CYBR), and insurance issue Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET). 

  • GM is poised to pop 4.8% at the open, after the car manufacturer boosted its full-year earnings outlook, and upped its stock buyback program as well as its quarterly dividend. This is a rare bit of good news for a company that's currently facing scrutiny amid an ignition-switch trial, which kicked off this week. General Motors Company shares haven't been anything to write home about, either, down nearly 18% at $30.30 since their most recent high of $36.88 in late November. Amid this downtrend, short-term option traders have been gravitating toward GM puts over calls, per its Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.78 -- in the 90th annual percentile.
  • CYBR is reportedly in talks to be acquired by larger rival Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ:CHKP). As a result, shares of Cyberark Software Ltd -- which have lost over half their value since hitting an all-time high of $76.35 in mid-June -- are up 15% ahead of the bell, following last night's close at $37.84. This is bad news for a recent crop of put buyers. During the past 10 days across the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), traders have bought to open 1.31 puts for every call -- a ratio that outstrips 90% of all others from the prior year.
  • MET said it's considering splitting off a large portion of its U.S. retail business due to the current regulatory environment. Reacting to the news, Goldman Sachs hit the stock with a $7 price-target cut to $46. However, that hasn't stopped Metlife Inc from rallying in electronic trading, currently up 7.4% after closing Tuesday at $41.99. Longer term, it's been a rough road for the shares, which are down 14.2% year-over-year, and earlier this week panned a two-year low of $40.97. Should this downward trajectory continue, another round of bearish analyst notes could ensue, considering nine of 13 brokerages rate MET a "buy" or better -- with not a single "sell" opinion in sight. What's more, the stock's consensus 12-month price target of $55.60 stands at a lofty 32.4% premium to the current price.

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