Heres a roundup of everything we covered on Barrons Stocks to Watch today:
GRANT HINDSLEY for The Wall Street Journal
We took in Walt Disney (DIS) earnings, Argus’ downgrade of Noble (NE), and Myriad Genetics’ (MYGN) freefall.
We looked at the speculation that International Paper (IP) could be a takeover target, and the progress made at Ralph Lauren (RL), and the slowing same-store sales at Shake Shack (SHAK).
We observed that Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT) was back in the news–and the target of bearish research–and that Gilead Sciences (GILD) hepatitis-C sales are likely to remain under pressure.
We explored the possibility that United States Steel (X) had turned the proverbial corner, that Michael Kors Holdings’ (KORS) earnings might portend trouble for Macy’s (M), and that Valeant Pharmaceutical International’s (VRX) is on the long road to recovery.
Hot Stocks To Own Right Now: Leucadia National Corporation(LUK)
Leucadia National Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in manufacturing, land based contract oil and gas drilling, gaming entertainment, real estate, medical product development, and winery operations in the United States and internationally. Its manufacturing operations include remanufacturing, manufacturing, and/or distribution dimension lumber, home center boards for retailers, pine decking, and other specialty wood products; and manufacturing and marketing lightweight plastic netting used in building and construction, erosion control, packaging, agricultural, carpet padding, filtration, and consumer products. The company?s land based contract oil and gas drilling operations include the provision of drilling services to independent oil and natural gas exploration and production companies in the Mid-Continent region of the United States, including Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Kansas. As of December 31, 2010, it had 38 drilling rigs. The company?s g aming entertainment operations consist of owning the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi located in Biloxi, Mississippi, which consists of 325 rooms and suites, 1,268 slot machines, 52 table games, 6 live poker tables, 5 restaurants, and spa. Its real estate activities include investment in commercial properties, residential land development projects, and other unimproved land. The company?s medical product development operations comprise the development of MP4OX that has completed a phase II proof of concept clinical trial and is a solution of cell-free hemoglobin, administered intravenously to provide oxygen delivery to oxygen deprived tissues. In addition, Leucadia National Corporation engages in the production and sale of wines; and investment and evaluation of gasification projects to convert various types of low grade fossil fuels into energy products. The company was founded in 1854 and is based in New York, New York.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Lee offers 22 stocks that could benefit from the correlation trade: Western Digital (WDC), Xerox (XRX), First Solar, Ford Motor, Best Buy (BBY), PulteGroup (PHM), AutoNation (AN), Textron (TXT), Jacobs Engineering Group (JEC), Mosaic, BB&T (BBT), Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB),Loews (L), Regions Financial (RF), KeyCorp (KEY), Comerica (CMA), Leucadia National (LUK), Zions Bancorp (ZION), Valero Energy (VLO), Marathon Oil, Cardinal Health (CAH), and Pepco Holdings (POM).
Hot Stocks To Own Right Now: Ohr Pharmaceuticals, Inc.(OHRP)
OHR Pharmaceutical, Inc., a pharmaceutical company, focuses on the development of novel therapeutics and delivery technologies for the treatment of ocular disease. Its lead clinical program is OHR-102 eye drops, a novel therapeutic product, which could provide a non-invasive therapy to enhance vision outcomes. The company is evaluating OHR-102 eye drops, which completed Phase II clinical trials for the treatment of retinal diseases, including wet-AMD, retinal vein occlusion, and proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Its preclinical pipeline of sustained release programs include sustained release formulations of small molecule and protein therapeutics for the treatment of ocular diseases, such as steroid induced glaucoma, allergies, and retinal disease. OHR Pharmaceutical, Inc. is headquartered in New York, New York.
- [By Lisa Levin]
OHR Pharmaceutical Inc (NASDAQ: OHRP) shares were also up, gaining 22 percent to $3.47. OHR Pharmaceutical announced it has reached an agreement on the Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the design of a Phase 3 trial for its lead drug candidate, Squalamine.
Top Logistics Stocks For 2016: Ultra Petroleum Corp.(UPL)
Ultra Petroleum Corp., an independent oil and gas company, engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, production, and operation of oil and natural gas properties in the United States. It primarily focuses on developing a tight gas sand trend located in the Green River Basin of southwest Wyoming; and assessing, exploring, and developing its position in the Marcellus Shale and other horizons located in the north-central Pennsylvania area of the Appalachian Basin. As of December 31, 2011, the company owned interests in approximately 53,000 net acres in Wyoming covering approximately 190 square miles; 258,000 net acres in Pennsylvania; and 130,000 net acres in eastern Colorado?s Denver Julesburg Basin. Ultra Petroleum Corp. was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.
- [By STOCKPICKR]
As energy commodity prices have sold off in recent months, so too have the E&P stocks that pull those resources out of the ground. And Ultra Petroleum (UPL) has been no exception. The good news is that you don’t need to be an expert technical trader to figure out why this stock looks toxic here — the setup in shares of Ultra Petroleum is about as simple as they get.
UPL is bouncing its way lower in a textbook downtrending channel, a price setup that’s formed by a pair of parallel trendlines that have kept UPL range-bound since April. The price channel in UPL identifies the high-probability range for shares to stay within, and so, with shares pressing up against resistance for the eighth time since this price channel kicked off, it makes sense to be a seller on the next bounce lower.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Our peer group is up an average of 46% over the past 4 weeks in response to a 30% rebound in the 12-month strip NYMEX oil price. Some of the largest gainers include Hold and Sell rated stocks that we would not chase such asDenbury Resources (Sell, +138%), Halcon Resources (HK) (Sell, +147%), Jones Energy (JONE) (Hold, +166%), Rex Energy (REXX) (Sell, +60%), Sanchez Energy (SN) (Hold, +93%), Ultra Petroleum (UPL) (Sell, +61%), andWhiting Petroleum (Hold, +103%), which have outperformed the E&P Index (+32%) over the same time period. Balance sheets and/or well level returns remain challenged for these companies despite improved oil prices. While we believe oil markets should re-balance over the next 12 to 15 months, the recent recovery to $40 could reverse during 2Q16 as bloated inventories continue to rise, new volumes from Iran pressure an oversupplied market, and a highly anticipated decline in non-OPEC supply (especially in the U.S.), is not as steep as expected. The risk of an oil price retracement, which would significantly pressure the recent out-performers, outweighs the upside in these stocks, in our view. However, we are raising our target prices on Buy ratedAnadarko Petroleum ($54 from $48), Concho Resources (CXO) ($120 from $109), Matador Resources (MTDR) ($22 from $21),Noble Energy (NBL) ($40 from $34), SM Energy (SM) ($22 from $15), Rice Energy ($14 from $12), Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) ($155 from $135),Continental Resources ($32 from $28), and Parsley Energy (PE) ($24 from $23). We believe our Buy-rated stocks are better positioned to weather challenging oil markets.
Hot Stocks To Own Right Now: Transocean Inc.(RIG)
Transocean Ltd. provides offshore contract drilling services for oil and gas wells worldwide. It offers deepwater and harsh environment drilling, oil and gas drilling management, and drilling engineering and drilling project management services. The company also offers well and logistics services. In addition, it engages in oil and gas exploration, development, and production activities primarily in the United States offshore Louisiana and Texas, and in the United Kingdom sector of the North Sea. As of February 10, 2011, the company owned, had partial ownership interests in, and operated 138 mobile offshore drilling units, including 47 high-specification floaters, 25 midwater floaters, 9 high-specification jackups, 54 standard jackups, and 3 other rigs, as well as 1 ultra-deepwater floater and 3 high-specification jackups under construction. Transocean Ltd. was founded in 1953 and is based in Zug, Switzerland.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Shares of Transocean (RIG) are getting hit today but not nearly as hard as other offshore drillers, including Ensco (ESV), Diamond Offshore Drilling (DO), Atwood Oceanics (ATW) and Noble (NE). The reason: Transocean announced the results of a tender offer to buy back debt. RBC’sKurt Hallead andBenjamin Owens explain:
Transocean’s Sedco 714 offshore platform in dry dock Bloomberg News
: RIG announced it has received valid tender offers from investors to repurchase ~$943mn of face value debt for $845mn, or a 90% weighted average discount. We view the move as a positive as it enhances the company’s liquidity and flexibility…
Nearer-term debt maturities look manageable:Transocean has ~$2.8bn in debt maturing between now and YE18: $1bn in 2016, $0.6bn in 2017, and $1.2bn in 2018…
With cash on hand of $2.6bn, $0.2bn in excess proceeds from the note offering, our forecast is for aggregate 2016/17 FCF of $0.6bn, and an undrawn $3.0bn revolver we thinkTransocean has ample liquidity (>$6.5bn) to manage through these debt maturities…
Still not interested in raising equity at this time:Transocean has essentially ruled out doing an equity offering at this time, indicating it feels confident with the capital structure.
Transocean said it would explore other financing options such as secured borrowing against its new drillships with 10-year contracts, if necessary, before doing an equity offering.
Jefferies analyst Eduardo Royes and team argue that Atwood Oceanics and Diamond Offshore drilling “intrigue, but for conflicting reasons.” They explain:
Atwoodscreens attractive on both a normalized multiple and DCF (heavily driven by normalized) basis, suggesting it could be a good play for recovery. An improving offshore sentiment and catalyst potential (e.g., term contract on the Osprey) could benefitAtwood as well. However, shares are very expensive in the tro