RDHL, HA, TAX Stocks On the Move Today

While H&R Block rallies on earnings, rival Liberty Tax is getting hammered after its quarterly results

by Patrick Martin

Published on Jun 14, 2017 at 3:29 PM

Stocks are sluggish today, despite the Dow hitting a record high prior to the Fed's rate-hike announcement. Among the names making volatile moves are biopharmaceutical stock RedHill Biopharma Ltd (NASDAQ:RDHL), airline stock Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:HA), and tax solutions specialist Liberty Tax Inc (NASDAQ:TAX). Here's a quick look at what's moving shares of RDHL, HA, and TAX.

RDHL Stock Ricochets After Positive Drug Data

RedHill Biopharma is up 0.5% at $9.40, after it announced successful late-stage study results for Bekinda, its gastroenteritis and gastritis treatment. The stock shot out to a big gain out of the gate, reaching as high as $10.60, but was trading lower for the day by lunchtime. Now, RDHL is struggling to stay above breakeven for the session. 

Judging by today's quick reversal in RDHL, the bears are still firmly in control. Short interest rose by 20.4% in the most recent reporting period -- a period of time during which Redhill stock slumped 5.6%.

Downgrade Sends HA Stock Scrambling

Hawaiian Airlines stock is down 10% at $48.78, and one of the biggest decliners on the Nasdaq, after Stifel downgraded the airline stock to "sell" from "hold" and cut its price target to $40 from $60. The new target implies expected downside of nearly 27% from Tuesday's close at $54.65.

HA shares are now down nearly 15% year-to-date, and within range of their rising 320-day moving average, which provided key support at the stock's early May lows. Most analysts are already skeptical of the underperforming stock, with nearly two-thirds of brokerage firms slapping HA with "hold" and "sell" ratings.

TAX Stock Tumbles After Earnings

Liberty Tax stock is down nearly 11% to trade at $11.57, joining HA as one of the Nasdaq's worst performers, after the company reported weaker-than-expected quarterly earnings. TAX's rough day was made worse by rival H&R Block reporting impressive quarterly results. TAX shares hit an annual high of $16.19 as recently as Feb. 22, but fell today to a fresh 52-week low of $10.88.

TAX stock is currently short-sale restricted, but many shorts have already left the building. Short interest on Liberty Tax decreased by over 15% during the last two reporting periods to hit a year-to-date low, with many bears likely taking profits in response to the stock's technical troubles.

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