Buzz Stocks: Anheuser Busch Inbev SA, Mobileye NV, and Starz

Today's stocks to watch in the news include Anheuser Busch Inbev SA (ADR) (BUD), Mobileye NV (MBLY), and Starz (STRZA)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Jun 30, 2016 at 9:22 AM

Following two days of strong gains, the stock market's momentum appears to be cooling off, with futures only modestly higher pre-market. Meanwhile, among specific equities making news today are beer baron Anheuser Busch Inbev SA (ADR) (NYSE:BUD), automotive tech firm Mobileye NV (NYSE:MBLY), and entertainment stock Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA).

  • South Africa's competition tribunal gave the green light to the $100 billion merger between BUD and SABMiller. However, Anheuser Busch Inbev is also facing a European Union (EU) probe into a possibly "deliberate strategy to restrict so-called parallel trade of its beer." On the charts, the stock is up 2.6% pre-market, after settling yesterday at $126.30 -- a chip-shot from its record high of $132.91 in mid-April. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), though, traders have been buying to open puts over calls at an accelerated rate. BUD's 10-day put/call volume ratio across those exchanges is 6.56 -- just 4 percentage points from a 12-month peak.

  • MBLY is teaming up with Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) to develop self-driving car technology for BMW, according to Bloomberg. The report has sent Mobileye NV stock 9% higher in electronic trading, and a gap higher at the open would send the shares into positive year-to-date territory, after they closed Wednesday at $41.96. That would be a welcome sight for options traders, who have bought to open 8.41 MBLY calls for each put during the past two weeks -- a ratio that outstrips 96% of all others from the past year. Along similar sentiment lines, the brokerage crowd is generally upbeat toward the stock.

  • STRZA has agreed to a $4.4 billion cash-and-stock buyout offer from Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (USA) (NYSE:LGF). After briefly being halted ahead of the open, Starz shares have resumed electronic trading, up 13%. Longer term, the stock is down close to 16% year-to-date, settling yesterday at $28.25. If STRZA's upward gap materializes at the open, bullish options traders could be handsomely rewarded. During the last 10 weeks at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX, speculators have bought to open 9.54 calls for each put -- a ratio that outranks 94% of all others from the prior 12 months.
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