3 Stocks Making Sharp Moves Lower Today

Verona Pharma stock is one of the worst stocks on the Nasdaq

by Patrick Martin

Published on Jan 14, 2019 at 2:35 PM

Stocks are lower across the board today amid global economic concerns, with utility name PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), drugmaker Verona Pharma (NASDAQ:VRNA), and casino Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN) some of the day's worst performers. Below, we'll take a look at what's moving the shares of PCG, VRNA, and WYNN.

PCG Hits New Low on Bankruptcy News

The hits just keep coming for PG&E, with the company announcing it is preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to massive insurance liabilities incurred from deadly California wildfires in recent years. In addition, the beleaguered utility company's CEO stepped down on Sunday.

Throw in a downgrade to "neutral" from "overweight" at J.P. Morgan Securities, and PCG stock is down 48.3% at $9.10 -- the worst stock on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today. Earlier, the shares fell to a 16-year low of $8.77.

PCG options pits have exploded today, with volume heavily skewed toward the put side. So far, about 125,000 puts have changed hands, seven times the average intraday amount and four times the number of calls traded. Most of the action is transpiring at March 8 put, while new positions are being opened at the January 2019 8-strike and February 8 puts, too.

Lung Disease Drug Data Triggers VRNA Sell-Off

Verona Pharma stock is down 37% to trade at $6.30, one of the worst stocks on the Nasdaq today, after the drugmaker's lung disease treatment failed to meet the main goal of a mid-stage trial. VRNA earlier fell to a record low of $5.65, and is on track for its worst day ever. But even prior to today's collapse, the shares had shed 61% from their late-March peak at $25.55 to last Friday's close at $10, under pressure from their descending 10- and 20-week moving averages.

Analyst sentiment may be due for an overhaul. Currently, five of six brokerages in coverage rate VRNA a "buy" or better, while its consensus 12-month price target of $33.80 is a 421% premium to its current perch. 

Macau Smoking Ban Sinks Wynn Stock

At last check, Wynn stock is down 4.7% to trade at $108.26, after data indicated Macau gaming revenue for January may be weaker than expected. One analyst at Jefferies surmised that the slowdown may be attributed to the Macau government's casino-wide smoking ban, which went into effect on Jan. 1.

WYNN's 12-month spiral lower culminated in a nearly two-year low of $90.06 on Dec. 24. While the shares have bounced from this bottom, they appear to have found resistance at their 80-day moving average.

Analysts are divided over the casino name. Of the 14 brokerages in coverage, eight say it's a "strong buy," while six rate it a tepid "hold." However, WYNN's average 12-month price target of $127.06 represents upside of more than 17% to its current perch.


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