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Stocks making the biggest moves midday: Virgin Galactic, Tesla, Groupon, Blue Apron & more


Virgin Atlantic Airways and Virgin Group founder, Sir Richard Branson.

Craig Barritt

Check out the companies making headlines in midday trading.

Virgin Galactic — Shares of the space tourism company spiked nearly 14% as the stock’s speculative rally continued. Virgin Galactic passed Apple and Tesla as the most popular stock among retail investors, according to Fidelity, with shares headed for the eighth consecutive day of gains.

Tesla — Shares of Tesla rose more than 9% following a bullish call from Wall Street firm Piper Sandler. The firm hiked Tesla’s price target to $928 per share, the highest on Wall Street, according to FactSet. Tesla exceeded that 12-month forecast and last traded above $940 per share. Piper Sandler said it is confident about Tesla’s push into new areas of clean energy like battery and solar power products. Shares of Tesla have rallied more than 100% in 2020.

Blue Apron — Shares of the meal kit service plunged 21% after the company reported disappointing quarterly earnings and said that it was considering “strategic alternatives.” The company lost $1.66 per share in the fourth quarter, which was larger than the $1.60 loss analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting. Revenue also missed estimates.

Groupon — Shares of Groupon tanked 43% after the e-commerce company said it will stop selling merchandise by year end, citing a “fiercely competitive” and in some cases “irrational” environment. Groupon also reported lower-than-expected profit and revenue for its fourth quarter.

Garmin — The GPS and fitness device company popped more than 8% in midday trading after it reported larger fourth-quarter profits than expected. The surge pushed Garmin stock to a 12-year high at $105.58 a share, its loftiest intraday price since December 14, 2007. Investors also reward Garmin during Wednesday’s session after the company’s board proposed an increase of the quarterly dividend to 61 cents a share from 57 cents a share.

Plug Power – Shares of the fuel cell maker gained more than 8%, building on Tuesday’s strength, which saw the stock finish the day with a gain of 9.7%. There’s no apparent catalyst for the move higher. Shares of the Latham, New York-based company have gained 137% in the last 6 months.

Nvidia — Shares of the chip stock jumped nearly 5% following an upgrade to outperform from market perform from A.B. Bernstein. The firm also hiked its price target to $360 per share from $300 per share, making A.B. Bernstein the highest target price on Wall Street, according to FactSet. The analyst said gaming and data center products could be the next catalyst for the stock.

Ally Financial — Shares of Ally Financial tanked more than 11% after the lender announced it will acquire privately held non-prime consumer lender CardWorks for $2.65 billion in cash and stock. The deal is expected to close during the third quarter.

Analog Devices — Shares of the chipmaker rallied more than 4% after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly results. Analog earned $1.03 per share in the fourth quarter, surpassing analysts’ expectations of $1.00 in earnings per share, according to FactSet. Its revenue also came in above estimates.

Bed Bath & Beyond — Shares of the big-box retailer climbed 3.6% to around $12.20 a share as investors applauded new CEO Mark Tritton’s plan to overhaul the business. Specifically, Tritton on Tuesday announced Bed Bath’s 2020 allocation plans, which include up to $600 million in capital returns to shareholders and debt reduction. The chief executive also disclosed in a call with analysts the company’s plans to restructure stores, improve checkout efficiency and promote in-store marketing.

Apple — The iPhone maker’s stock rose 1.6% in late-morning trading, recouping some losses incurred earlier in the week after Apple warned on Monday it would fall short of its first-quarter guidance. The equity remained net negative for the holiday-shortened week, however, as fears the coronavirus could sap its performance in the near term checked the equity rebound.

— with reporting from CNBC’s Maggie Fitzgerald, Pippa Stevens, Michael Sheetz and Thomas Franck.

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