Tesla Falls on Negative Model 3 Report; Short Seller Eyes Weed Stock

Meanwhile, HRTX is rallying thanks to an FDA decision

Dec 31, 2018 at 3:24 PM
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Stocks are trading higher in the last day of 2018. While the pre-holiday session has been mostly quiet, automaker Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), healthcare issue Heron Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:HRTX), and weed stock Aphria Inc (NYSE:APHA) are all making notable moves. Below, we'll take a look at the news on shares of TSLA, HRTX, and APHA.

Electrek Report Sets TSLA Back

TSLA shares are dipping slightly today, last seen down 1.6% at $328.51, following a report out of Electrek that the company has more than 3,000 Model 3 vehicles left in inventory in the U.S. Tesla stock earlier found a bottom near the 10-day moving average, and at these levels would close 2018 up 5.7%.

As for sentiment on the high-profile auto stock, short interest remains high, accounting for more than one-fifth of the float, but some bears have been hitting the exits. In fact, short interest has been trending lower since peaking at 39.1 million shares back in June, last seen at 26.7 million shares.

FDA Buzz Gives HRTX a Boost

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted HRTX's non-opioid painkiller priority review, and plans to have a final decision on the drug by the end of this coming April. While shares of the drugmaker are up 7.9% today at $25.63, they remain in their channel of lower highs that's been in place since August. Moreover, Heron Therapeutics again topped out near the downtrending 50-day moving average.

Even with the recent technical weakness, HRTX analysts have remained bullish. All 10 covering brokerage firms have "strong buy" or "buy" ratings. Today, Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated an "overweight" rating and $50 price target -- two times today's price -- saying the FDA news should be viewed as a "significant positive." Further, the brokerage firm said that considering "HRTX stock has retraced most of its 2018 gains, we believe [it] offers a compelling investment opportunity going into 2019."

Short Seller Calls Out Aphria (Again)

APHA stock is down 9.8% at $5.64, after long-time short seller Hindenburg Research suggested an interview with the CEO of Green Growth Brands (GGB) confirms suspicions of shady ties between the two. Late last week, Hidenburg said GGB's planned buyout of Aphria was essentially a publicity stunt meant to "generate the appearance of demand." Green Growth Brands today said Aphria does not have influence over the company, and any "informal relationships that may exist are separate from Green Growth's business decisions."

Hindenburg also took a swipe at APHA earlier this month, calling the company's Latin American acquisitions "virtually worthless." The stock subsequently touched a record low of $3.75 on Dec. 6, about a month after debuting on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) around $12.


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