Buzz Stocks: International Business Machines Corp., Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc, and Herbalife Ltd.

Today's stocks to watch in the news include International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc (SGYP), and Herbalife Ltd. (HLF)

Jan 20, 2017 at 9:26 AM
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U.S. stocks are set to open higher ahead of Donald Trump's inauguration, and a round of blue-chip earnings are also in the spotlight. Among specific equities in the spotlight are Dow component International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), drug stock Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:SGYP), and supplement seller Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF). Here's a quick look at what's driving IBM, SGYP, and HLF.

  • IBM is down 0.6% in electronic trading after reporting earnings and revenue that beat estimates on the Street. Weighing on the shares is the company's 19th consecutive quarterly drop in revenue -- but International Business Machines Corp. gave an upbeat full-year forecast, citing growth in its newer businesses, such as cloud services. The brokerage bunch seems to be cheering IBM's results so far, with at least six analysts raising their price targets -- including Independent Research, which increased its target price to $177 from $169 -- representing a level the shares haven't seen since 2014. IBM could certainly stand to benefit from more upbeat attention, as sentiment among traders has been distinctly bearish of late, despite the stock's 37% year-over-year advance, at $166.81.
  • SGYP popped in early pre-market trading after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its constipation drug, Trulance, but the shares have pared their gains, set to open just 0.3% higher. Analysts appear optimistic on Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc, which has been setting a series of higher highs and lows since last March. While all three firms tracking the stock already call it a "strong buy," Rodman & Renshaw this morning hiked its price target on SGYP to $18 -- a 181% premium over last night's close of $6.41. On the other hand, short sellers have had the security in their sights of late, with these bearish bets increasing by nearly 11% during the two most recent reporting periods, to account for 17.8% of SGYP's total float.
  • HLF is set to drop 5% at the bell, after the company said its fourth-quarter sales would fall at the low end of its prior guidance, citing a strong U.S. dollar. After spending the last couple of months consolidating above support at the $48 level, Herbalife Ltd. recently attempted a breakout, but was shut down in the $53-$54 region. Near-term options traders may not be too disappointed with a pullback today, however. HLF sports a Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.38 -- in the 88th annual percentile -- suggesting puts have been unusually popular among options set to expire in the next three months. The stock has tacked on roughly 15% over the past 12 months, at $53.41. 

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