Buzz Stocks: Home Depot Inc, Fitbit Inc, and Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc

Today's stocks to watch include Home Depot Inc (HD), Fitbit Inc (FIT), and Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (VRX)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Feb 23, 2016 at 10:04 AM
Updated on Feb 23, 2016 at 10:05 AM

U.S. stocks are down this morning amid a slip in oil futures. Meanwhile, do-it-yourself retailer Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD), wearables expert Fitbit Inc (NYSE:FIT), and drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) are among the equities in focus today.

  • HD reported better-than-forecast quarterly earnings and sales this morning, boosted its quarterly dividend by 17%, and announced a $5 billion stock repurchase plan. Collectively, the news has the shares 2.5% higher at $125.91 -- though they're still down 4.8% year-to-date. On Wall Street, analysts are firmly in HD's bullish camp, with 11 of 17 brokerages handing out "buy" or better ratings, compared to six "holds" and not a single "sell" opinion. Earlier, in fact, Morgan Stanley boosted its price target to $145 from $135, calling the stock a "beacon of strength in an increasingly bumpy macro and retail backdrop." Elsewhere, short interest on Home Depot Inc fell nearly 30% during the last two reporting periods, and now makes up less than 1% of its total float.
  • FIT has tumbled over 16% this morning to trade at $14.82, as lackluster current-quarter guidance overshadows a huge earnings beat. Making matters worse, the stock is facing a flood of negative analyst attention. No fewer than 10 brokerages weighed in on Fitbit Inc, and among them were Stifel and Baird, which both lowered their ratings to the equivalent of "hold." There's plenty of room for additional bearish notes, too, as 16 of 21 analysts maintain "buy" or better assessments on the stock -- with not a single "sell" opinion to be found. Since its record high of $51.90 in early August, FIT has tumbled nearly 73%.
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