2 Stocks Analysts Are Talking About Today

Meanwhile, II-VI stock is trading higher after getting a government go-ahead to acquire Finisar

by Lillian Currens

Published on Sep 20, 2019 at 1:19 PM

Stocks are mixed at midday, as investors eye the latest U.S.-China trade updates. Three specific stocks on the move are tech issue Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ:XLNX), laser manufacturer II-VI, Inc. (NASDAQ:IIVI), and e-tail name Etsy Inc (NASDAQ:ETSY). Below, we'll look at what's driving the shares of XLNX, IIVI, and ETSY. 

CFO Resignation Sinks XLNX Stock 

Semiconductor stock XLNX hit an eight-month low of $96.14 earlier today, after the company said Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Lorenzo Florez will step down, effective after second-quarter earnings are released on Wednesday, Oct. 23. The equity is now down 5.4% at $98.06 -- testing support at its 320-day moving average for the first time since last October. 

BofA-Merrill Lynch swooped in after the announcement, downgrading the stock to "neutral" from "buy," and slashing its price target by $35 to $115, adding that Xilinx failed to reaffirm its second-quarter guidance -- a surprising move considering the quarter is almost over. There's room for more bear notes to come down the line, considering eight of 20 analysts still maintained a "buy" or better rating prior to today. Plus, the consensus 12-month price target of $127.39 is a healthy 30% premium to current levels. 

IIVI Stock Booms as Finisar Acquisition Clears Chinese Hurdle

Optoelectronic company II-VI obtained regulatory approval from the State Administration for Market Regulation of the People's Republic of China (SAMR) to acquire optical communication components firm Finisar (FNSR). The deal is expected to be finalized early next week. The shares of IIVI are up 4.3% at $41.25 in response, and notched a six-month high right below the $43 level earlier today.

The stock is now up almost 32% from its late-May lows near $31, and shorts may be getting nervous. Short interest inched down in the latest reporting period, but still represents 15.6% of the stock's available float. At IIVI's average pace of trading, it would take 13 days to cover these bearish bets, which could create even bigger tailwinds on the charts, should even more of these pessimistic positions begin to unwind.

ETSY Stock Tests Key Trendline After Upgrade 

Etsy stock is up 0.6% at $59.43, thanks to yet another bull note, this time from RBC. The analyst in coverage upgraded the equity to "outperform" from "sector perform," and lifted its price target to $68 from $63, saying "Etsy is becoming more special." However, the security is running out of steam at its 80-day moving average -- a trendline that's kept a lid on the shares since an early August bear gap.

There's been some bullish activity detected in the options pits, too, with 2,300 calls across the tape so far -- almost double the expected intraday amount. The bulk of this action is centered at the October 70 call, where it looks like new positions are being bought for a volume-weighted average price of $0.27. If this is the case, breakeven for the call buyers is $70.27 (strike plus premium paid) -- more than 18% above current levels.


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