The Car Stock Stalling on a New 'Sell' Rating; Plus, HPE's Job Cuts

Shorted shares make up more than 60% of CVNA's available float

Sep 22, 2017 at 3:19 PM
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U.S. stocks are lower this afternoon, with the Dow down as Apple paces for its worst week in more than a year. Among the names in the spotlight today are e-commerce car platform Carvana Co (NYSE:CVNA), technology solutions provider Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co (NYSE:HPE), and credit agency Equifax Inc. (NYSE:EFX). Here's a quick look at what is moving shares of CVNA, HPE, and EFX.

Analyst: 'Sell' Carvana Stock

Carvana stock is down 2.4% to trade at $16.40, after B. Riley started coverage with a "sell" rating, and set its price target on CVNA at $12, citing the company's forward pricing strategy increases execution risk. CVNA shares hit a record high of $23.70 on June 26 -- roughly two months after the stock's initial public offering (IPO) -- but have since retreated to the $16 region, which represents a 50% Fibonacci retracement of CVNA's May lows to its June high. 

Shorts are likely cheering today's decline, as short interest on CVNA has grown by 50% in the past two reporting periods. Short interest on Carvana now accounts for more than 60% of the stock's total available float, or 9.6 times the equity's average daily trading volume. 

Reports: Hewlett Packard Enterprise Plans on Cutting 5,000 Jobs

Moving in the opposite direction are shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise stock, last seen trading 3% higher at $14.20, amid reports the company plans to slash 10% of its staff, or about 5,000 jobs. After notching a record high of $14.86 on May 16, HPE shares took a tumble after earnings, ultimately falling to familiar support in the $12.80 region back in June. Since then, HPE stock has rebounded about 11% to trade near the upper end of its 2017 trading range.

Although HPE shares have only gained roughly 5% year-to-date, options traders on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) are more bullish than usual toward the tech stock. HPE's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 40.46 stands in the 95th percentile of its annual range. In other words, options players have bought to open more than 40 HPE calls for every HPE put during the past two weeks. 

Equifax Stock Isn't Out of the Woods, Despite Recent Rise

After a rough month following its massive data breach, Equifax stock is trading 5.1% higher at $103.23 today, after Wells Fargo upgraded the stock to "outperform" from "market perform." The brokerage firm did, however, cut its price target on EFX to $127 from $135 -- still representing expected upside of 29.3% over EFX's closing price of $98.25 yesterday.

Since plummeting to a two-year low of $89.59 last week -- and touching record oversold territory -- Equifax shares have recovered some, and today are set for a fifth straight gain. However, the recent price action could be a "dead cat bounce," especially with the credit agency not out of the political woods, and CEO Richard Smith expected to get grilled by Congress in a couple weeks. Still, 10 of the 14 analysts following the stock rate it a "buy" or better, with not a single "sell" rating in sight.


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