This afternoon saw some interesting movers on the market, the most noticeable trend being the bullish market on Marijuana stocks, particularly penny Marijuana stocks. Apart from Medical Marijuana Inc (PINK:MJNA) & Co., Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY), Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), Acme Packet, Inc. (NASDAQ:APKT), and Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM) were also active.
Medical Marijuana Inc (PINK:MJNA): Just one of the many penny Marijuana stocks trading at a frantic pace today, Medical Marijauna Inc. (PINK:MJNA) was trading at an infamous $0.420 per share as of 2:30 pm. The price of the stock might invite conspiracy theories from the more paranoid members of the Marijuana Business.
Other Marijuana related stocks that were trading up this afternoon included Growlife Inc (OTC:PHOT) and HEMP, INC. (PINK:HEMP), both were up close to 40% in trading the afternoon. The future for the best known companies in the Marijuana industry is not clear. Medical Marijuana Inc. is currently trading at a P/E of just over 70, meaning that investors expect big things in the years to come.
We've looked at the effects of the legalization on Marijuana stocks like Growlife Inc. (OTC:PHOT) and Medical Marijuana Inc. (PINK:MJNA) before. There was a small bubble in the stocks just after Washington and Colorado legalized the substance last November. The industry is new, and none of the companies in it have managed to prove themselves, that's reason enough for investors to be wary.
Acme Packet, Inc. (NASDAQ:APKT): In one of the most widely anticipated earnings reports released this morning, Acme Packet, Inc. (NASDAQ:APKT) beat earnings estimates from analysts and caused its stock to leap upward. The company recorded a loss of 3 cents per share on revenues totaling $70.7 million.
The biggest impetus behind the rise in the company's shares was not the earnings report however, it was the announcement of an acquisition of the company by Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL) for $2.1 billion. That amounts to $29.25 per share. The firm's stock was trading up more than 22% today on that news, bringing the market price of the stock to $29.35 per share.
The companies expect the acquisition to close in the first half of 2013 after shareholder approval is given, and regulatory approval comes down from on high. The deal gives Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL) control over a greater range of network technologies. Acme Packet, Inc. (NASDAQ:APKT) specializes in data transmission technology.
Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF): After a New York Post article this morning claimed to have proof that Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) was being investigated by the FTC, the company's stock plunged in premarket trading. The company has, however, released a statement asserting that it has no knowledge of any such investigation. The firm's shares have been generally recovering for most of the day.
Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) stock was trading at close to $35 at time of writing, making up for almost all of the value lost in trading today. The company's shares closed on Friday at $35.07. Investors in the company are clearly nervous about its future, though it now appears that a FTC probe, while not impossible, was not happening now, indicated by the NY Post article that was printed this morning.
The Herbalife saga is bound to continue, though today's developments appear to have been a blip, rather than a storm. The company's shares are still trading at relatively high levels compared to their December lows, though they have lost close to 20% since highs in late January.
Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY): Well on its way to a complete rebranding, Research In Motion was trading up by more than 13% today, hitting highs of $14.86 during trading earlier today. At time of writing, the stock was trading just below that level.
The motives behind the rally in the stock include upgrades by analysts in reports released today. The firm has just released two new smart phones, which will either kill or save the company. After that launch, skeptical analysts and investors caused a substantial loss of value in the stock. Today's gains are just a reaction to the 27% loss in value in trading last week.
Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) also put itself confidently in front of US audiences with a Superbowl commercial last night. The company is trying to compete with the much bigger players in the smart phone industry right now, its performance will not be known until its Q1 report, though investors will look for any information to guide their decisions.
Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM): The healthcare company beat the forecasts of analysts when it unveiled its earnings before the market opened this morning. The company recorded fourth quarter earnings per share of $1.19 per share. Revenues for the three months that closed 2012 came in at $9.56 billion.
In the same quarter of 2011, the company earned $1.20 per share on revenues totaling $9.06 billion. Analysts were still happy with the firm's performance in the fourth quarter. Consensus earnings estimates came in at $1.08 per share, while analysts were looking for revenue of $9.8 billion for the period.
Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM) stock rose by more than 4% in the market today on the back of those positive fourth quarter results. Its stock was trading at just below $79 at time of writing. That's the highest price the stock has traded at since last July.