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Stocks making the biggest moves midday: Anthem, UnitedHealth, Campbell Soup, Nordstrom & more


UnitedHealth Group signage is displayed on a monitor on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Check out the companies making headlines in midday trading. 

AnthemHumana, Centene, UnitedHealth — Anthem, Humana, Centene, UnitedHealth and Cigna were the five biggest gainers in the S&P 500, all rising at least 9% and as much as 13%. Health insurance stocks soared after former Vice President Joe Biden racked up wins on Super Tuesday, making it less likely that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has pushed for single-payer health care, would win the Democratic nomination. Additionally, Citi said in a note to clients that UnitedHealth would be unaffected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Campbell Soup — Shares of Campbell Soup jumped more than 7% on Wednesday to a new 52-week high of $51.87 per share, following its strong quarterly results. The food company reported earnings of 72 cents per share on revenue of $2.162 billion. This topped the 66 cents per share on revenue of $2.154 billion expected by Wall Street analysts, according to Refinitiv. Campbell also raised its full year earnings estimates.

Lyft — Shares of Lyft popped more than 2% after JPMorgan called the stock “extremely compelling at current levels.” The firm said the 30% pullback from Lyft’s February high is a great entry point into the stock, which has strong fundamentals and a path to profitability in 2021.  JPMorgan reiterated its overweight rating and $85 per share price target on Lyft, which implies the stock could more than double in the next 12 months.  

Abercrombie — Shares of clothing company Abercrombie surged nearly 10% after beating on the top and bottom lines of its quarterly results. The retailer earned $1.31 per share on revenue of $1.185 billion. This topped the $1.23 per share on revenue of $1.165 billion expected by Wall Street analysts, according to Refinitiv.

Nordstrom – Shares slid more than 3% after the retailer reported disappointing fourth quarter results. The company earned $1.42 per share on $4.54 billion in revenue, which was below the $1.47 and $4.56 billion the Street had been expecting, according to estimates from Refinitiv. Barclays also downgraded the stock to an underweight rating.

Beyond Meat – Shares of the plant-based alternative meat maker jumped more than 4% after Argus initiated coverage on the stock with a buy rating. We view Beyond Meat as the leading company in the plant-based protein space, with a widely recognized brand and prospects for continued market share growth,” the firm said. Argus also established a $130 target, which represents a 30% upside for the stock.  

Hewlett Packard Enterprise — Shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise tumbled more than 7% after the computer network company reported disappointing first-quarter revenue. HPE posted revenue of $6.95 billion, while analysts polled by Refinitiv estimated $7.21 billion. The company’s earnings of 44 cents per share, excluding some items, was in line with analysts’ estimates, according to Refinitiv.

Mattel — Shares of Mattel jumped 4% after KeyBanc Capital Markets upgraded the toy maker to overweight from sector weight, “With cost takeouts and turnaround heavy lifting largely in hand, it was more apparent to us that MAT is pivoting back onto offense, squarely focused on revenue growth,” the analyst said.

American Express — Shares of American Express rose 4.7% after the company’s CFO said he did not think the payments company would need to change its outlook due to the coronavirus outbreak. According to a FactSet transcript of an interview at KBW Fintech Payments Conference, CFO Jeffrey Campbell said the company’s Asia Pacific region made up only a small part of its business and that included Australia, which has been strong recently.

Chipotle – Shares of the restaurant chain gained more than 1% after Wells Fargo upgraded the stock to an overweight rating. The firm said that Chipotle’s new drive-thru stores will “accelerate the company’s move back toward all-time high store-level sales, margin and returns,” which is not currently being priced into the stock. Wells Fargo also raised its target to $1,000, which is 34% above where the stock currently trades.

— ith reporting from CNBC’s Jesse Pound, Maggie Fitzgerald and Pippa Stevens.

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