Manchester United Stock Higher After Dramatic Comeback

Manchester United advanced to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League

by Patrick Martin

Published on Mar 7, 2019 at 2:45 PM

The Dow is lower again today, heading toward its fourth straight loss. Among stocks making notable moves today, discount retailer Five Below Inc (NASDAQ:FIVE) and soccer franchise Manchester United PLC (NYSE:MANU) are climbing, while pharma company Aptinyx Inc (NASDAQ:APTX) is struggling. Here's a quick look at what's got the shares of FIVE, MANU, and APTX moving today.

Oppenheimer Bullish on Five Below

Five Below stock is up 2.2% to trade at $117.37, after Oppenheimer initiated coverage on the discount retailer with an "outperform" rating and $140 price target. The brokerage firm called FIVE "one of the few remaining retail growth stories," and hailed its "unique and defensible" small-store format. FIVE has shed 7.8% in the past month, but the selling appears to have been contained by its 160-day moving average. 

An unwinding of short interest could keep the wind at the equity's back. Short interest fell by 15% in the last two reporting periods, yet the 3.24 million shares still sold short represents a healthy 6% of FIVE's total available float, and more than a week's worth of pent-up buying power, at its average pace of trading. 

Champions League Comeback Has MANU In Form

Yesterday, Manchester United became the first soccer club to overturn a 2-0 deficit in the UEFA Champions League, beating Paris Saint-Germain on away goals in a last-minute 3-1 victory. United advances to the quarterfinals of the UCL. In reaction, MANU is up 2.4% to trade at $20.17, climbing above its year-over-year breakeven point. Since breaching $17 in early December, Manchester United stock has added nearly 20%.

An analyst at Gabelli weighed in on the club, calling it a "stunningly positive and it is only going to help sponsors." Overall, though, analysts are skewed on the iconic club. Half of the brokerages rate MANU a "strong buy," while the other half rate it a tepid "hold." 

Failed Depression Drug Digs in to APTX

Aptinyx stock is down 10.5% to trade at $4.66, and earlier fell to a record low of $4.50. The stock's struggles today are linked to Allergan (AGN) and its experimental depression treatment that failed three-late stage studies. Aptinyx co-developed, and later sold the treatment the Allergan. After consolidating below $6 all year, APTX has now shed 73% from its June 21 opening price of $17.40. 

A shift in analyst sentiment could be on the way. Of the five brokerages covering APTX, four rate it a "buy" or better, with zero "sells" on the books. Plus, the security's consensus 12-month price target of $19.33 is a 314% premium to its current perch.

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