YUM = Call volume spikes in Yum Brands on speculation of activist stake. Spike occured at 10:40 ET with a nearly 3K contracts trading in a minute, including a sweep of 409 Nov 8th 99 calls from 49 to 50c, quickly followed by 616 more from 60 to 64c as shares lifted. A minute later TheFly.com noted speculation of an activist stake, with total volume at the strike over 6K contracts and a last print near $1.23.
Cowen analyst Andrew Charles said the Yum Brands (YUM) sell-off from the challenges at its Pizza Hut division seems to be overdone. The analyst said some of the weakness could be due to its 3.0% ownership in GrubHub (GRUB) and the stock’s challenging performance. He said the Yum quarter was helped by its diversified model showcased by its Taco Bell comp strength and upside to KFC store growth. Charles maintained his Outperform rating and lowered his price target to $117 from $129 on Yum Brands shares.
JNPR = Nov 26 call buyers in Juniper Networks. Shares $25.56 with nearly 7K Nov 26 calls bought in several sweeps from 19 to 50c this morning. Opens a new position expiring in 9 days.
According to a Reuters report, the protocol to implement a White House executive order “declaring a national emergency” in the telecoms supply chain are being contemplated at the Department of Commerce. Eileen Albanese of the Commerce Department, said while speaking at an event in Washington, that “the rules, which were due earlier this month and seen as likely to thwart the participation of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei Technologies, were not yet ready,” added the Reuters story. Companies that may be impacted by this include: Juniper (JNPR) Ciena (CIEN), Extreme Networks, Inc. (EXTR), Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO), Comtech Telecommunications(CMTL).
BABA = Chinese state news agency Xinhua has reported that the State Administration for Market Regulation summoned representatives from e-commerce platform operators including Alibaba (BABA), JD.com (JD) and Pinduoduo (PDD) for a meeting to urge them to halt the “monopolistic” practice of forcing online vendors to sign exclusive cooperation agreements that forbid them from selling their products on competitors’ platforms, according to Ding Yi of Caixin Global.
Stifel analyst Scott Devitt said that comments made by Alibaba along with the company’s fiscal second quarter report about aggressive spending in the back half of the fiscal year may cause concern for some investors, but he believes the more aggressive spending expectations are already largely priced into those consensus estimates. He added that the company reported a “solid” Q2 and he sees the company’s investments in local services, international, logistics, and new retail strengthening the platform and expanding Alibaba’s reach. Devitt keeps a Buy rating on Alibaba shares, but trimmed his price target for the stock to $220 from $225, primarily due to foreign exchange impacts.