Among the biggest winners in Tuesday's early trading are Korn/Ferry ( KFY ) , Jazz Pharma (Nasdaq: JAZZ) and Carmike Cinemas (Nasdaq: CKEC) .
Top Percentage Gainers -- Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Company Name (Ticker)
Carmike Cinemas(Nasdaq: CKEC)
Korn/Ferry( KFY )
Jazz Pharma (Nasdaq: JAZZ)
*Table includes companies with minimum market capitalizations of $200 million and three month trading volumes of at least 100,000 shares. All percentage returns are listed as of 11:00AM Eastern Standard Time . Click on ticker symbols for up-to-the-minute price quotes and percentage gain data.
Korn/Ferry Reveals Executive Job-Hopping
Shares of Korn/Ferry ( KFY ) are up nearly +15% after the executive recruiter posted robust fourth-quarter results and a bullish first-quarter outlook on Monday evening. This is not necessarily a sign that job prospects are improving for most people, only that more company executives are moving around. A high level of executive turnover can happen in good times and bad.
It's hard to quibble with +58% year-over-year quarterly sales growth (even if it was modestly boosted by an acquisition). More than likely, these results are sustainable, which is why analysts expect per-share profits to nearly triple in the fiscal year that just began to around $0.80 to $0.85.
Action to Take --> Shares have had a nice run, and it's hard to justify the price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) multiple going much higher than the current 20 (on projected fiscal 2011 profits). Investors are best off waiting for a pullback.
Jazz Pharma Gets a Pair of Endorsements
After nearly going bankrupt in March 2009, shares of Jazz Pharma (Nasdaq: JAZZ) continue to rebound, and are up another +6% on Tuesday thanks to an analyst upgrade and a new bullish report from another analyst. Jazz develops drugs that target the neurology and psychiatry markets. Barclays boosted its rating to "overweight ," citing a strong balance sheet , lower expenses, and new lower valuation.
Capstone Investments is similarly bullish, issuing a new report with an $11.50 price target -- 34% above the current price. Capstone likes management's proven track record (they previously built and sold another company for $10 billion in 2001), more disciplined approach to R&D, a pair of products that already garner a combined $150 million in annual sales, and promising new drugs in the pipeline. Jazz' existing drugs target narcolepsy and obsessive-compulsive disorder, and its unapproved JZP drug is undergoing various trials targeting treatments for restless leg syndrome, acute repetitive seizures, epilepsy and bipolar disorder.
Action to Take --> Despite today's gain, shares are still down roughly -40% in the last three months, and trade for just over 10 times next year's profits, which is an unusually low valuation for a biotech with plenty of drugs in the pipeline. The company's $300 million market value seems to greatly discount the value of the potential of its drugs, but that's logical considering that most of these target applications are still early in the testing process. This is not as speculative as other biotechs, thanks to the cash being thrown off by its existing drugs, and as these analysts point out, shares appear undervalued.
Carmike Bounces off of the Bottom
When shares of Carmike Cinemas (Nasdaq: CKEC) posted a robust +15% rebound on May 21 to over $12 a share, we suggested investors steer clear, or even look to short the stock. Since then, shares fell, and fell some more. In fact, they've fallen in 10 out of the last 11 sessions before a sharp rebound in Tuesday trading. The weakness was partially due to a realization that future results are likely to be weaker than consensus analysts' forecasts imply, and a realization that the company will need to raise more cash to handle its debt load . Carmike recently announced that it will raise $175 million, right at a time when shares were near the 52-week low.
Action to Take --> It remains to be seen how much dilution will take place. After this steady plunge, shares do look inexpensive and probably quite appealing to private equity firms. That could well be what is boosting shares today. If you like this newly-cheapened stock, look at it as a trade, not an investment. If shares post a heady rebound in coming sessions due to buyout rumors, look to take quick profits in case those rumors are unfounded.
-- David Sterman
Disclosure: David Sterman owns shares of Neither StreetAuthority and LCC nor the editor hold positions in any securities mentioned in this report..
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