Exxon Mobil Stock Hits New Low After Earnings; Baidu Profits Surge

Short sellers have been covering their positions on XOM stock

Managing Editor
Jul 28, 2017 at 10:13 AM
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U.S. stocks are lower this morning as earnings season plugs along. Chinese internet issue Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU), Dow stock Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), and pharmaceutical company Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) are three stocks in the news to start the day, for varying reasons. Here's a quick look at what's moving shares of BIDU, XOM, and VRX.

Strategy Change Leads To Big Earnings Beat For Baidu

Baidu stock is up 5% to trade at $211.55, earlier hitting an annual high of $212, after the company reported an impressive surge in profits. The earnings beat comes on the heels of a strategy shift from the Chinese company, focusing more on its mobile app and artificial intelligence. It's been a strong year for BIDU stock, which has tacked on 22% year-to-date, and analysts are expecting additional upside. Specifically, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, and Credit Suisse, today raised their price targets to $210, $212, and $228, respectively. 

Call buyers have been targeting BIDU options for some time now. BIDU boasts a 50-day call/put volume ratio of 2.53 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which ranks 5 percentage points from an annual high. 

Exxon Shares Burned By Revenue Miss

Exxon Mobil stock is down 1.2% to trade at $79.79, earlier hitting a 52-week low of $79.12, after the oil giant's second-quarter earnings and revenue missed estimates. It's been an ugly year for XOM shares, which have shed 12.4% year-to-date. But despite the sluggish stretch for Exxon Mobil, short interest decreased by almost 13% during the last two reporting periods. The stock's inability to rally amid this short-covering trend points to its underlying technical weakness. 

VRX Shares Dip After Insurers Drop Key Drugs

Valeant Pharmaceuticals stock is down 0.8% to trade at $16.99, after it was revealed that insurers were dropping some of Valeant's cornerstone drugs from formularies. Nevertheless, VRX shares have tacked on 17% year-to-date, and have rebounded nicely from their April 24 low of $8.31. Analysts remain skeptical of VRX, however. Of the 11 brokerages covering VRX, eight rate it a "hold" or "strong sell." This means additional upgrades could send the stock higher down the road.


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