Buzz Stocks: Netflix, Inc., Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., and CSX Corporation

Today's stocks to watch in the news include Netflix, Inc. (NFLX), Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (CHKP), and CSX Corporation (CSX)

Jan 19, 2017 at 9:21 AM
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The Dow appears set for a fifth straight loss, as traders digest the latest interest-rate decision from the European Central Bank (ECB). Among specific equities in the spotlight are streaming media stock Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), cybersecurity issue Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ:CHKP), and transportation concern CSX Corporation (NASDAQ:CSX). Here's a quick look at what's driving NFLX, CHKP, and CSX.

  • NFLX is up 7.1% ahead of the open, on pace to hit a new record high out of the gate, after reporting fourth-quarter earnings above expectations. Boosting the shares further is the company's largest-ever quarterly increase in subscribers, topping even Netflix, Inc.'s own forecasts, with 7.05 million users added during the period. Analysts have been rushing to weigh in on the news, with Macquarie offering an upgrade to "neutral" from "underperform," while no fewer than 14 brokerage firms raised their price targets on the stock. At $133.26, NFLX has added more than 23% year-over-year, but not everyone is likely to be cheering this morning's gains, as near-term options traders are currently at a put-skewed extreme.
  • An earnings beat has CHKP up 6.7% in pre-market trading, on track to open at its highest level since 2001. The shares have been stair-stepping higher since September, but the brokerage bunch has yet to adjust, with 13 out of 23 analysts rating Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. a "hold" or "strong sell." What's more, the average 12-month price target of $86.48 sits below last night's close at $89.61. Simply stated, a round of overdue upgrades and/or price-target hikes could add fuel to CHKP's fire.
  • CSX is poised to tack on 19% at the bell, which would put the shares well into never-before-seen territory. Boosting the stock is news Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (USA) (NYSE:CP) CEO Hunter Harrison has stepped down ahead of his expected July departure, to join forces with activist investor Paul Hilal. The plan is reportedly for the pair to force a shake-up at CSX Corporation, which would put Harrison in a senior management role. Analysts have since taken a favorable view, as Morgan Stanley and Scotiabank both upgraded the stock -- to "equal weight" and "outperform," respectively -- while also raising their price targets. Citigroup also offer a price-target hike, to $51 from $41. CSX had already added 62% over the past 12 months, as of last night's finish at $36.88, but short sellers may find this pending pop hard to digest. At CSX's average daily volumes, it would take two weeks to buy back the 7.7% of the stock's total float that's wrapped up in short interest. 

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