Chanticleer Stock Soars on Blockchain Rewards Program

ABT hit a record high earlier after J.P. Morgan Securities and Morgan Stanley upgraded the pharma stock

Jan 2, 2018 at 3:01 PM
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Stocks have kicked off 2018 on a high note, with tech shares leading the path higher. Among other names making big moves are pharma stock Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), biotech Achaogen Inc (NASDAQ:AKAO), and fast casual dining name Chanticleer Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:BURG). Here's a quick look at what's boosting shares of ABT, AKAO, and BURG.

ABT Stock Earns a Pair of High-Profile Upgrades

Abbott Laboratories was upgraded to "overweight" at J.P. Morgan Securities and Morgan Stanley, with the brokerage firms lifting their respective price targets to $65 and $67. Both firms waxed optimistic about the company's pipeline and product launches, which should help boost earnings-per-share (EPS) growth in the upcoming year.

In response, ABT stock is up 2.8% to trade at $58.69 -- barreling through previous congestion in the $57.50 region, and tagging a record high of $59.20 along the way. This is just more of the same for the shares, which are boasting a 52.8% year-over-year return, and have recently found a steady floor atop their rising 60-day moving average.

Part of this uptrend has likely been fueled by short sellers, who have been rushing to cover their losing bets. In the two most recent reporting periods, short interest fell 13.4% to 11.57 million shares. These bearish bets now account for just 0.7% of ABT's available float.

Achaogen Stock Surge May Be Short Lived

Achaogen stock is trading up 3.3% today at $11.10, following news the company's complicated urinary tract infection treatment, plazomicin, has been accepted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for priority review. This is helping overshadow a price-target cut to $27 from $31 at SunTrust Robinson, though this new target still represents a 143% premium to AKAO's present perch.

Looking closer at the charts, the shares struggled in the latter half of 2017, and are currently staring at a more than 50% six-month deficit. What's more, today's upside is being contained by AKAO stock's 40-day moving average, a trendline that quickly halted a mid-November rally attempt.

Should the shares resume their longer-term downtrend, there's plenty of room for analysts to lower their outlooks on AKAO share. All 11 brokerages covering Achaogen maintain a "buy" or better rating, while the average 12-month price target stands at a lofty $25.30.

Short Sellers Escape Chanticleer Stock Surge

Chanticleer Holdings stock had nearly doubled in value at its intraday peak, but was last seen up 58% to trade at $4.12. Boosting the shares is news the chain restaurant operator -- which is a minority owner in Hooter's of America -- will use blockchain technology for its rewards program.

Heading into today's trading, the stock had put in an uninspiring performance on the charts -- spending the bulk of 2017 trading below its 200-day moving average, and hitting a record low of $1.81 in mid-November.

And it looks as if a number of short sellers got out in the nick of time. Short interest plunged 23% in the most recent reporting period.

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