Earnings Roundup: Accenture, ConAgra Foods, and PepsiCo

Accenture Plc (ACN), ConAgra Foods Inc (CAG), and PepsiCo, Inc. (PEP) are all trading higher on upbeat earnings

Sep 29, 2016 at 9:35 AM
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Several notable stocks are swinging higher this morning in the wake of earnings. Among the post-earnings gainers are consulting firm Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN), as well as snack makers ConAgra Foods Inc (NYSE:CAG) and PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP). Let's take a closer look at these three stocks, and how Wall Street is reacting to the earnings data.

ACN has gained 4.1% to trade at $121.43 -- a fresh record high -- after the firm narrowly topped the consensus earnings estimate and reported a strong increase in quarterly revenue. In addition, the company boosted its dividend. This is a welcome development for option bulls. During the past two weeks at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), Accenture Plc traders have bought to open twice as many calls as puts. The corresponding call/put volume ratio of 2.00 sits just 13 percentage points from an annual peak.

CAG has tacked on 4.6% to hover near $45.11, boosted by an earnings beat. However, the shares are still trying to rebound after pulling back from a record high of $48.81, notched on July 1. Short sellers have been betting against a bounce in recent weeks. During the last two reporting periods, in fact, short interest on ConAgra Foods Inc spiked 33.6% -- though just 1% of the stock's total float is sold short.

Lastly, PEP is up 1.7% at $109.19, following better-than-forecast quarterly results, and an upwardly revised earnings outlook. In fact, the shares are quickly approaching their record high of $110.94, hit in mid-July. While options traders have been amassing PepsiCo, Inc. puts of late, the brokerage crowd has been singing the stock's praises. Specifically, 10 of 12 analysts rate the shares a "buy" or better, with not a single "sell" recommendation to be found.

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