Analysts Scramble to Keep up With AMD Stock Surge

RIG stock is spiraling after the drilling operator scooped up Ocean Rig

Sep 4, 2018 at 2:58 PM
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The stock market is on track to start September with a loss, as focus turns to tomorrow's trade talks between the U.S. and Canada. Among specific names in focus are rig operator Transocean Ltd. (NYSE:RIG), chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD), and diabetes specialist MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ:MNKD), with the latter two bucking today's bearish bias. Here's a closer look at what's moving shares of RIG, AMD, and, MNKD.

Transocean Sinks After Ocean Rig UDW Bid

Transocean shares are down 6.2% at $11.37, after the drilling company said it will buy Ocean Rig UDW (ORIG) in a cash-and-stock deal valued at roughly $2.7 billion, which includes debt. Today's decline has RIG stock testing its 200-day moving average -- a trendline that cushioned the shares near the end of the third quarter -- and the security is now down more than 20% from its July 10 annual high of $14.34.

This downside has occurred alongside steady selling pressure from shorts, with these bearish bets up 9.3% since the July 1 reporting period. The 77.27 million RIG shares sold short accounts for almost one-fifth of the energy stock's available float.

Advanced Micro Devices Stock Hits New High After PT Hikes

Advanced Micro Devices stock is up 10% to trade at $27.68, earlier tagging a new 12-year peak of $28.06. Boosting the shares is a pair of bull notes, with Jefferies and Cohen raising their AMD price targets to $30 -- matching the highest price targets on Wall Street. This is just more of the same for the stock, which just wrapped up its best month since February 2017, and has added 170% so far this year.

Yet, nine of 19 analysts still maintain a "hold" or "strong sell" suggestion on the stock, and the average 12-month price target of $19.22 is a nearly 31% discount to AMD's current price. This leaves the door open for more upbeat analyst notes, which could draw additional buyers to the equity's table.

MannKind Stock Soars on UTHR Collaboration

MannKind announced a licensing agreement with United Therapeutics (UTHR) to develop and distribute treatments for hypertension, including the experimental dry powder treprostinil -- sending MNKD shares up 67.3% to trade at $1.84. Nevertheless, the upside is being contained near the stock's negative 20% year-to-date return, as well as its 140-day moving average, the latter of which served as support in the first two months of the year.

Today's bull gap has sparked a rush of activity in MannKind's options pits, with nearly 13,000 calls and 1,450 puts traded so far -- almost six times what's typically seen at this point in the day. This still pales in comparison to MNKD's annual high of 144,420 calls and 34,833 puts traded in a single session, which occurred back on Oct. 5.


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