Brighthouse Financial Set for Record Day; Ellie May Jumps on Buyout Buzz

TAP options volume is running at a quick clip today

by Karee Venema

Published on Feb 12, 2019 at 2:06 PM

Positive headlines out of D.C. are driving stocks higher today. Among individual names making notable moves are insurance issue Brighthouse Financial Inc (NASDAQ:BHF), beer giant Molson Coors Brewing Co (NYSE:TAP), and mortgage application software specialist Ellie Mae Inc (NYSE:ELLI). Here's a quick roundup of what's moving the shares of BHF, TAP, and ELLI.

Strong 4Q Earnings Boost BHF Stock

Brighthouse Financial stock is up 13% at $40.36, set for its best day ever, after the company said net income and total revenue more than doubled in the fourth quarter to $1.4 billion and $4.03 billion, respectively. The shares are on track for their highest close since Dec. 3, but still remain down 30.7% year-over-year.

Analysts remain skeptical of BHF stock, with eight of 11 in coverage maintaining a "hold" or "strong sell" rating. Plus, while UBS raised its price target on the security to $37 from $34 -- still a discount to current trading levels -- the average 12-month price target of $40.62 is in line with the equity's current perch.

Put Buyers are Betting on Bigger TAP Stock Losses

Molson Coors Brewing shares are sinking in reaction to the company's lower-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue of $2.41 billion. The brewer also said it is restating financial statement for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 in relation to accounting errors in its full takeover of MillerCoors in 2016. At last check, TAP stock is down 9.3% at $59.25, pacing for its biggest one-day loss since May 2.

Options volume is accelerated, too, with roughly 5,000 calls and 4,500 puts on the tape -- seven times the average intraday amount. The February and March 60 puts are most active, and it looks like new positions are being purchased. If this is the case, put buyers' profit will accumulate the further south of $60 TAP falls.

Thoma Bravo is Taking Ellie Mae Private

Ellie Mae shares have surged 20.9% to trade at $99.03 -- headed for its highest close since Sept. 14, and its largest one-day gain since May 2015. Earlier today, the company said it will be bought by private equity firm Thoma Bravo for roughly $3.7 billion in cash, or $99 per ELLI share. The deal includes a "go-shop" period for the mortgage software company, which currently counts Equifax (EFX) and Fannie Mae as its partners.


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