Pandora's New Investor; Under Armour Puts Popular After Hibbett Warning

Analysts expect RETA stock to jump another 67%

by Patrick Martin

Published on Jul 24, 2017 at 2:44 PM

U.S. stocks are lower this afternoon, as markets brace for a potentially turbulent week of political and economic news. Biotech stock Reata Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:RETA), athletic apparel retailer Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UAA), and streaming music provider Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) are all making moves today. Here's a quick look at what's moving shares of RETA, UAA, and P.

Upbeat Drug Data Has Reata Stock Soaring

Reata Pharmaceuticals stock is up 15% to trade at $35.96 -- and earlier peaked at $40.88, within striking distance of November's record high -- after the company reported its kidney disease drug, bardoxolone, demonstrated improved function in patients with Alport syndrome. It's been a stellar year for RETA stock, which has more than doubled in the past 12 months, and today received a price target hike to $60 from $53 at Piper Jaffray -- representing expected upside of 67% to the shares' current price.  

Retail Weakness Cuts Into Under Armour Stock

Under Armour stock is down 2% to trade at $20.17, as athletic apparel stocks suffer from a Hibbett Sports warning. The drop today has UAA stock testing support at the round-number $20 region, which contained the shares' pullback in mid-June, and has emerged as a floor in July. UAA shares have struggled since a massive post-earnings bear gap in January, and have spent most of 2017 bouncing between $19 and $22.

Under Armour options are trading at an unusually high clip today, with put volume nearing an annual high, and over 15,000 puts crossing the tape so far -- three times the normal intraday rate. The weekly 8/4 20-strike put is most active, with more than 5,900 contracts traded. It appears some speculators are buying the puts to open, betting on UAA stock to breach $20 by the close on Friday, Aug. 4 -- just three days after Under Armour is slated to report earnings.

Report of Jana Investment Raises Pandora Stock

Pandora stock is up 3.3% to trade at $9.77, after it was reported that activist investor Jana Partners made a recent investment into the music streaming service, citing advertising growth opportunity as a motivator. Since touching a record low of $6.76 on June 19, Pandora stock -- the subject of growing buyout speculation -- has rebounded 44.5%, and today could topple its 80-day moving average for the first time since late February. 

There are still a great number of short sellers hanging around Pandora, meaning a short squeeze could inch the shares up even higher. Short interest has increased by roughly 17% during the past reporting period, and now accounts for nearly 95 million shares, or 54% of the stock's total available float. 

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