Buzz Stocks: LendingClub Corp, Groupon Inc, and Horizon Pharma PLC

Today's stocks to watch include LendingClub Corp (LC), Groupon Inc (GRPN), Horizon Pharma PLC (HZNP)

by Celeste Taylor

Published on May 9, 2016 at 10:47 AM

U.S. stocks are up slightly, as traders keep an eye on June-dated crude oil, and anticipate what officials will have to say after Friday's dreary jobs report.  Among equities in focus today are online loan marketplace LendingClub Corp (NYSE:LC), discount retailer Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN), and biopharmaceutical stock Horizon Pharma PLC (NASDAQ:HZNP).

  • LC plummeted 25.1% to $5.32 -- and earlier touched an all-time low of $5.22. The sharp fall followed news that LendingClub Corp CEO Renauld Laplanche resigned following an internal investigation that revealed $22 million of near-prime loans was sold to a single investor -- Jefferies, according to sources -- and violated business practices. The news has overshadowed LC's first-quarter earnings report. The stock has lost more than three-quarters of its value since it started trading in December 2014. Bearish bettors have been hot on the stock in recent weeks, with short interest rising 17.2% over the previous two reporting periods. Over 21% of the stock's float is short sold, and it would take 11.4 days of trading, at LC's average daily volume, to cover all of the shorted shares. 

  • GRPN shares are up 3.3% at $4.30, after the online discount retailer said it sold its Breadcrumb point-of-sale system for a minority stake in Upserve, a management assistance software company. Groupon Inc shares were dealt a blow recently, breaching their 200-day moving average amid some post-earnings backlash. GRPN options traders seem more pessimistic than usual, with Groupon Inc's 50-day put/call volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) of 0.31 sitting in the 94th percentile of its annual range.

  • HZNP is up 15.9% at $15.54, thanks to an earnings win and a New York Post report indicating the biotech could revive plans to purchase Depomed Inc (NASDAQ:DEPO). Horizon Pharma PLC on Friday came within a chip-shot of a new annual low, and option buyers have been upping the bearish ante of late. HZNP's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 1.23 is higher than 94% of all other readings from the past year, suggesting options players have had an especially gloomy outlook.

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