While the markets haven't been off to the races lately, there are a number of stocks out there seeing huge rallies. Many of these names have been grouped together over the past few years, as they have tended to trade together at times. Lately, these names have rallied on strong earnings, corporate announcements, short covering, or a variety of other reasons. Today, I'll discuss five of those names, covering why they've rallied and where they've been.
Netflix soared on Tuesday after the company announced an agreement with Walt Disney Studios (DIS). The agreement will begin with 2016 theater releases from studios under the Disney umbrella including Pixar, Marvel and Walt Disney Animation. Subscribers will be able to watch select titles about seven months after release, and Netflix will also gain access to Disney's older titles. For Netflix, this is a shot at Starz, which has the Disney agreement until 2015. If you remember, Netflix and Starz were unable to reach an agreement earlier this year, and Netflix dropped Starz.
Netflix shares soared 14% on Tuesday, but remember that they were down 7% on Monday. Tuesday's close was the highest one for Netflix since the end of April. I recently discussed the competitive challenges Netflix faces, and this news does change my opinion slightly. I'm a little more positive on Netflix on this news, but remember, it won't get this content until 2016. That's three years from now, and who knows what will happen to Netflix or Amazon (AMZN) or an others in the space before then. As I stated in my Netflix article, those wishing to short might want to wait for the next pop. We'll, we have one here, and if it continues to $90 or so, I expect the shorts to appear again.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR):
Green Mountain shares rose sharply after the company's latest earnings report, and have soared even more since. Green Mountain was a heavily shorted name with over 51.5 million shares short in mid-November, about a third of the outstanding share count. It appears that a lot of shorts have run for cover, and that seems to be the reasoning behind Tuesday's near $3 rally. Green Mountain shares are at their highest point since early May, the day they nearly fell 50% on a bad earnings report.
I recently stated that Green Mountain remains a short candidate for several reasons. The growth numbers were inflated due to a 14th week in the period, and the buyback really is throwing off a bunch of numbers. Now I stated in that article that I figured short covering could send this name above $40, and it has. I recommended that investors figure out at what price they would be comfortable shorting this name, and I don't have a specific price in mind myself just yet. I'm waiting to see the end of November short statistics to see how many shorts covered after the quarterly results. Further short covering could push this name higher, but remember, it is now up 167% from its after-hours low after reporting Q3 results a few months ago.
SodaStream shares got a boost recently after Green Mountain's results, because these two companies have traded at tandem in times. While the home coffee and home soda markets are completely different, SodaStream's stock has moved sharply on days Green Mountain reports. SodaStream shares closed at their highest level since early July on Tuesday. At $42, shares are up nearly $9 since their mid-November low.
But the other news involving SodaStream is its ambitious ad campaign. The company is in the process of a global campaign to promote the brand, and received a ton of publicity when the campaign was rejected by UK censors. SodaStream has gotten plenty of attention with this campaign, and you may remember Coca-Cola (KO) went after it earlier this year. The publicity will only increase going forward, as the company recently announced its first-ever Super Bowl commercial for this year's big game. Yes, Super Bowl commercials are expensive, with a 30-second clip in the 2012 game costing an estimated $3.5 million. But with the huge audience watching this game, it might be the best place for SodaStream to get its foot further in the door. The company has certainly increased its U.S. retail footprint in the past two years, and promoting the brand this way seems like a winning strategy.
Deckers Outdoor (DECK):
Deckers shares have been rallying lately as cold Northeast weather has investors believing the company is in for a Q4 rebound. Sales of UGGs could certainly be strong if the weather stays cold, and last year's warm winter hurt Deckers and drove the stock down more than 75%. Recently, a number of analysts have either increased their price targets or upgraded the stock, with the latest being an analyst at Sterne Agee. Shorts are beginning to cover, with the number of shares short declining from 15.45 million at the end of October to 14.82 million in mid November. We should have the end of November numbers soon.
Deckers shares declined more than 3% on Tuesday, but have rallied nearly 50% off their $28 and change low. I recently discussed the company's potential headwinds and opportunities. If Deckers does manage a decent Q4 and can overcome some of the issues that have plagued it recently, this stock can definitely get back to the $50 or $60 level at some point next year. I see last year's $100 plus probably being a couple of years off at this point. But if all the recent hype regarding Deckers turns out to be just that, hype, look for this name to head back down to that sub $30 low.
First Solar (FSLR):
First Solar shares rocketed higher on Tuesday, continuing Monday's rally after a deal in China was announced. First Solar has been trying to break into China for a couple of years now, and this deal will certainly help. With China making a large push for renewable energy, this is definitely a market First Solar wants and needs to be in.
First Solar shares have rallied about 30% since their mid November low. On Wednesday, they will look to close above $30 for the first time since the beginning of March. At $29.61, shares are well off their 52-week low of $11.43, but shares traded for over $160 in early 2011. While the company's revenue is expected to rise by 30% this year, earnings per share are forecast to drop by 23%. 2013 is expected to be a challenging year as well, with current forecasts calling for revenue to be flat over 2012, and earnings to drop another 11%. However, if this company continues to ink deals like the one on Monday, current expectations could prove to be low.
All five of these names have rallied strongly in recent weeks due to a variety of reasons. The moves in these names have been extended due to large amounts of shares short. As those shorts have covered, these stocks have rallied further. Investors looking to enter a position, either long or short, should do a fair amount of due diligence. These names can move quickly, and you don't want to be on the wrong side of the trade. I've mentioned some of these names as short candidates, which means that there are issues with them that might warrant a short position, but that doesn't mean I'm advising you to definitely run out and short them today.
Additional disclosure: Investors are always reminded that before making any investment, you should do your own proper due diligence on any name directly or indirectly mentioned in this article. Investors should also consider seeking advice from a broker or financial adviser before making any investment decisions. Any material in this article should be considered general information, and not relied on as a formal investment recommendation.