Analyst Update: Emergent Biosolutions Inc, Vectrus Inc, and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Analysts are weighing in on Emergent Biosolutions Inc (EBS), Vectrus Inc (VEC), and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT)

Alex Eppstein
Sep 30, 2016 at 2:53 PM
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Analysts are weighing in on drug stock Emergent Biosolutions Inc (NYSE:EBS), government contractor Vectrus Inc (NYSE:VEC), and retailer Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT). Here's a quick roundup of today's brokerage notes on EBS, VEC, and WMT.

  • EBS is bucking the biotech dowturn this afternoon, up nearly 14% at $31.60 -- placing it near the top of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:) percentage gainers -- just like this German bank stock. Lifting the shares is the drugmaker's reception of an up to $1.6 billion BARDA contract to develop and deliver its NuThrax vaccine for anthrax. Adding fuel to the fire, Wells Fargo called the award "very positive," and a sign of "good execution by EBS when needed." On account of today's gains, Emergent Biosolutions Inc is on track for its highest close in roughly two months. Meanwhile, short sellers may be begging for mercy. A lofty 12.6% of the stock's float is sold short, which would take over two weeks to cover, at EBS' average daily volume.
  • On the other hand, VEC is the biggest loser on the NYSE, tumbling 45.1% to $15.18, and landing on the short-sale restricted list. In fact, the shares earlier touched a record low of $12.50, and have plummeted almost 57% since their all-time high in late August. Stifel helped trigger today's gap lower, slashing its price target to $22 from $30, following a report that the U.S. government declined extending a Kuwait services contract with Vectrus Inc. This should be music to the ears of put buyers. During the last 10 days at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), traders have bought to open nearly twice as many VEC puts as calls.
  • WMT is bouncing on a trio of bullish initiations, up 2.4% at $72.41. Specifically, KeyBanc, Pacific Crest, and Guggenheim each started coverage on the retail stock with the equivalent of a "buy" endorsement. However, the shares remain pinned below their 50-day moving average, and since hitting an annual high of $75.19 in mid-August, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has slipped nearly 4%. A mass exodus of option bulls could intensify headwinds, too. Specifically, WMT's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio checks in at 2.09, outstripping 70% of all readings from the past year. Another round of short selling could weigh on the shares, too, as short interest popped 11.2% during the most recent reporting period.
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