Whole Foods Buzz Weighs on Sprouts Farmers Market

by Karee Venema

Published on Apr 2, 2019 at 3:10 PM

While the broader U.S. stock market struggles for direction, a number of individual stocks are making notable moves, including biopharmaceutical firm ADMA Biologics Inc (NASDAQ:ADMA), travel name Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL), and supermarket chain Sprouts Farmers Market Inc (NASDAQ:SFM). Here's a quick look at what's moving the shares of ADMA, DAL, and SFM.

ADMA Biologics Set for Best Day Ever

The shares of ADMA Biologics are near the top of the Nasdaq -- up 33.2% to trade at $5.42 -- after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the company's immune deficiency treatment, ASCENIV, with ADMA projecting a commercial launch in the second half of this year. Additionally, Oppenheimer boosted its price target to a Street-high $16, calling the approval a major milestone for ADMA. 

The stock is pacing toward its best day ever, and options trading is accelerated. More specifically, 3,693 calls and 1,940 puts are on the tape -- 14 times the average intraday amount, and a new annual high. The April 7.50 call is most active, and it looks like new positions are being initiated here.

Delta Stock Eyes Sixth Straight Win

Delta Air Lines stock is headed toward a sixth straight win, up 7% at $55.82. Ahead of its earnings report, due before the open next Wednesday, April 10, the air carrier projected first-quarter adjusted profit above the consensus estimate, and said revenue passenger and average seat miles were both up in March. A price-target hike to $67 from $62 is only fanning the bullish flames.

There's room for more upbeat analyst notes, should the shares add to their 11.5% year-to-date gain. While four analysts still maintain a tepid "hold" recommendation, the average 12-month DAL price target of $62.95 is a tame 13.1% premium to current levels.

Sprouts Shorts Keep Control

Sprouts Farmers Market shares are trading down 2.8% at $21.06, following news Amazon (AMZN) is cutting prices at Whole Foods. This negative price action is just part of a longer-term trend, with SFM stock off 28.9% from its Sept. 10 two-year high of $29.67.

Short sellers have been cashing out amid this slide. Short interest is down almost 20% from late December. However, bears are still firmly in control, considering the 12.9 million SFM shares sold short represents 10.8% of the stock's available float.

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