Accenture, Conagra, Ultragenyx News Today

Accenture, Conagra, and Ultragenyx are in the news today

Mar 23, 2017 at 9:29 AM
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Stock futures are modestly higher in electronic trading, ahead of the House's highly anticipated healthcare vote. Among stocks in focus are consulting firm Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN), packaged food stock Conagra, and drugmaker Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc (NASDAQ:RARE). Here's a quick roundup of the headlines moving shares of ACN, CAG stock, and RARE.

Accenture Stock Slides on Earnings Report

ACN reported better-than-expected earnings, though profit fell year-over-year on rising costs. Reaction on Wall Street has been negative ahead of the opening bell, with the stock down 2.9% pre-market. Yesterday, Accenture Plc settled at $126.48, after hitting a record high of $126.53. Meanwhile, short-term options traders are extremely call-skewed toward the shares. ACN's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) sits at a 12-month low of 0.71.

CAG Sales Miss Overshadows Upbeat Earnings

CAG stock is up 0.7% in electronic trading, as an earnings beat overshadows a nearly 10% drop in quarterly sales. After landing yesterday at $40.48, CAG shares are not far from their March 1 record high at $41.68. Given Conagra's technical strength, it's little surprise seven of 11 analysts rate the stock a "buy" or better -- though Bernstein recently downgraded CAG. Elsewhere, short-term CAG options traders are more put-heavy than they've been at any other time during the past year, albeit amid relatively light absolute volume. CAG's SOIR of 0.73 is docked at an annual high.

Drug Data Drops Ultragenyx Stock

RARE has surrendered 7.5% ahead of the bell, after the company's seizure drug failed in a mid-stage study. What's more, the stock was hit with a downgrade to "neutral" from "overweight" and price-target cut to $70 from $96 at Piper Jaffray, while Wedbush lowered its price target to $80 from $88. The latter said it expects the treatment's drawbacks to continue through to the next stage, which could affect commercial uptake. Nevertheless, H.C. Wainwright raised its target price for RARE to $105 from $88 -- in annual-high territory.

After closing yesterday at $78.36, the stock is on track to open at levels not seen in just over a month. A bearish gap would be a welcome sight to Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc short sellers, though. Over 14% of the stock's float is sold short, which would take two weeks to cover, at RARE's typical trading rate.

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