Buzz Stocks: Chesapeake Energy Corporation, Transocean LTD, and BlackBerry Ltd

Today's stocks to watch in the news include Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK), Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG), and BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)

by Karee Venema

Published on Feb 24, 2016 at 9:48 AM

Stocks are falling in step with crude futures this morning. Meanwhile, among specific equities in focus are oil-and-gas names Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) and Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG), as well as smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY).

  • CHK has soared 10% out of the gate to $2.46, after the firm said it plans to reduce capital spending this year by 57%, and will sell roughly $500 million to $1 billion in assets. Additionally, Chesapeake Energy Corporation said it will make a $500 million debt payment that's due in March. Longer term, it's been a rough ride for CHK, which was down nearly 88% year-over-year heading into today's trading. Speculative players have been betting on more downside, too. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the security's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 2.20 sits just 4 percentage points from a 52-week peak.

  • Drilling stock RIG hasn't performed much better on the charts, with the shares down 64% from their May 14 annual high of $21.90. What's more, RIG's 8.1% loss this morning puts it at a record low of $7.85. Sparking this negative price action is news that Esso Exploration Angola Ltd. -- a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) -- has terminated its ultra-deepwater drilling contract with RIG. Additionally, the shares were hit with a $2 price-target cut to $10 at Zephirin Group. Short-term option traders, meanwhile, are more call-skewed than they've been at any other point during the past year toward Transocean LTD, which will unveil its fourth-quarter earnings report after tonight's close. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.18 sits at an annual low.

  • BBRY is throwing its hat in the cybersecurity ring, scooping up U.K.-based Encription to help launch its new consulting business, Professional Cybersecurity Services. On the charts, the shares of BlackBerry Ltd have shed roughly 33% year-over-year, including a 2.6% drop today to trade at $7.07. In the options pits, however, speculators have shown a distinct preference for long calls over puts in recent weeks. At the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX, for instance, BBRY's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 24.25 sits above 99% of all comparable readings taken in the past year.
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