Verizon Stock Climbs on Subscriber Adds, Union Pacific on New COO

Union Pacific stock is on pace for its best day since April 2009

Patrick Martin
Jan 8, 2019 at 2:22 PM
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Stocks are modestly higher today, but have pared bigger gains from earlier in the morning. A few notable names making outsized moves today are Dow stock Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), railroad stock Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE:UNP), and medical device maker Tactile Systems Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:TCMD). Below, we'll take a look at the news moving the shares of VZ, UNP, and TCMD.

Verizon Stock Boosted By New Phone Subscribers

Earlier today, Verizon reported 650,000 net new phone subscribers (subscription required) for the fourth quarter, as well as 1.2 million retail postpaid customers. The strong numbers have VZ up 2.9% to trade at $58.32 at last check, on track for its fourth-straight win and the second-best Dow stock today. As 2018 folded, VZ had breached $53, a level of support that had served as a pre-bull-gap level from mid-August. This area also coincides with the 200-day moving average, and since bouncing from this trendline, the shares have gained 11%. 

The sentiment in the analyst community is split. Of the 17 brokerages covering VZ, 10 rate it a tepid "hold." Further, the stock's consensus 12-month price target of $58.70 sits right at Verizon's high from today, indicating there is ample room for price-target hikes. 

New COO Spurs Quick Rise for UNP

Union Pacific stock is soaring today, up 8.3% to trade at $149.99, after the company tapped Jim Vena as its new chief operating officer (COO). Vena is known within the railroad industry as a turnaround specialist. In response, Seaport Global upgraded UNP to "buy" from "neutral," part of a broader wave of bullish analyst attention. The railroad stock is near the top of the S&P 500 today and is on track for its best single-session gain since April 2009.

Despite limited absolute volume, options traders have been targeting another pullback for UNP. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), UNP's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 2.66 ranks in the 96th annual percentile, meaning puts have been bought to open over calls at a faster-than-usual pace.

Upbeat Guidance Triggers TCMD Rally

Near the top of the Nasdaq today sits Tactile Systems Technology stock, up 25.8% to trade at $59.57, on track for its best day ever. Driving the gains today is the company's strong revenue forecast that exceeded Wall Street expectations. Thanks to today's burst, TCMD shares have now more than doubled year-over-year, and are on track to topple their 80-day moving average for the first time since November.

A short squeeze could keep the wind at the medical device maker's back. Short interest dropped off by 5.3% in the last two reporting periods to 2.51 million shares. However, this still represents a healthy 14.3% of TCMD's total available float, and nearly 13 days of pent-up buying power, at the stock's average pace of trading.


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