The Unusual Suspects for the Week Ahead (ALXA, ALKS, AB, AAPL, VZ, BORN, CIT, CEG, IMGN, JAZZ, MSFT, POT, BHP, RGC, CNK, YHOO)

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Earnings season is just getting underway and the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 11,000 on Friday.  There are many stocks to watch outside of earnings this week.  The cast of characters in The Unusual Suspects includes Alexza Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ALXA), Alkermes, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALKS), AllianceBernstein Holding L.P. (NYSE: AB), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), China New Borun Corporation (NASDAQ: BORN), CIT Group, Inc. (NYSE: CIT), Constellation Energy Group Inc. (NYSE: CEG), Immunogen Inc. (NASDAQ: IMGN), Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: JAZZ), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, Inc. (NYSE: POT), Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC), Cinemark Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CNK), and Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO).  We have included a review and preview for each where applicable.  This week is more filled with biotech news than others due to a busy FDA calendar.

A full earnings calendar is available here for the week, including INTC, JPM, GE, APOL, SWY, AMD, GOOG, JBHT, INFY, and MAT.  Also, gold is getting jittery now and Friday’s $1,345 handle closed right in the middle of Thursday’s more than $30 point swing from high to low as it traded above $1,360 and below $1,330.  We took a look at the gold stocks and included a list of gold stocks that appear to be overvalued against peers and a list that appears to be undervalued gold stock against peers.

Alexza Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ALXA) has an FDA PDUFA date for Monday regarding a decision on its AZ-004 as its lead program for treatment of agitation in schizophrenic or bipolar disorder. patients.  At $3.03, its 52-week range is $1.93 to $3.92 and shares traded roughly in a $3.10 to $2.70 range in the last week.

Alkermes, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALKS) has a decision due Tuesday for the approval of its opioid addiction treatment Vivitrol.  The drug is already approved as an injection treatment for alcohol dependence and the company has already had Phase III results showing that Vivitrol helped patients against opioid addiction. A panel has already recommended approval of the drug.  At $15.92, it hit a new 52-week high on Friday and the range is $7.54 to $15.98 and it traded in a wide range last week with a low close to $14.60 before it hit a new 52-week high.

AllianceBernstein Holding L.P. (NYSE: AB) was given the cover story from Barron’s this weekend. The article titled “A Deep Value Play” said that it got hit worse than most of its rivals in the financial crisis and it wonders if its new CEO (former Goldman Sachs member) turn it around.  Barron’s  points out that at $26.59 on October 1, shares were trading 64.7% below a pre-crisis high of $75.35.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has not yet formally announced its decision to sell the CDMA phone via Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ).  The latest rumor is the umpteenth time the rumor has been out that a CDMA iPhone is coming to Verizon.  We expect formal confirmation on this soon, maybe as soon as this week or next week.

China New Borun Corporation (NASDAQ: BORN) is new as a stock and it produces and distributes corn-based edible alcohol in China. The company probably just got a lot more famous (if it was even known before) after this weekend because it unseated Netflix as the #1 stock in the Investors Business Daily 100.  The IBD 100 might not ramp it but it will be more on the map than ever now for many momentum investors.  IBD gave it a positive article last week as well and last Monday it was trading under $11.00 per share.  At $16.08, it hit a 52-week high on Friday and the post-IPO range this year is $4.80 to $16.14.

CIT Group, Inc. (NYSE: CIT) was given a very positive article in Barron’s called “On the Road to Redemption.” Barron’s noted, “The financial crisis pushed CIT into bankruptcy and John Thain out the door at Merrill Lynch. Together, they seem to be faring a lot better.”  At $40.79, its 52-week range is $24.83 to $42.94.  Look for a pop on Monday if the market holds up.