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Why Under Armour, Cray, and Lions Gate Entertainment Jumped Today

By Dan Caplinger - May 17, 2019 at 4:30PM

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Despite pressure on the overall market, merger and acquisition activity and favorable analyst views lifted these stocks.

The stock market gave back some ground on Friday, as major benchmarks were volatile throughout the session and ended lower by around 0.5% to 1%. News that trade negotiations between the U.S. and China might have stalled made investors especially nervous during the latter part of the day, even though favorable economic news kept the losses from getting too severe. Some companies even had positive things happen that lifted their shares. Under Armour ( UA 1.95% ) ( UAA 2.17% ), Cray ( CRAY ), and Lions Gate Entertainment ( LGF-A 1.26% ) ( LGF-B 1.81% ) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.

Under Armour gets good reviews

Class C shares of Under Armour rose 7% after the athletic apparel specialist received favorable remarks from a Wall Street giant. JPMorgan upgraded Under Armour's stock from neutral to overweight, boosting its price target by $6 per share to $29. Analysts focused on their confidence in company management, especially CEO Kevin Plank, to generate future growth and take advantage of global opportunities in the athletic footwear and apparel space. Not everyone's convinced that Under Armour is back and better than ever, but the retailer is making good strides toward a recovery.

Multiple images of Steph Curry dribbling a basketball while wearing Under Armour shoes.

Image source: Under Armour.

Cray makes a deal

Cray saw its stock jump 22.5% following its receiving a buyout bid from an industry giant. Hewlett Packard Enterprise ( HPE -0.33% ) agreed to acquire the supercomputing giant in a deal that values Cray at $1.3 billion. Cray shareholders will receive $35 per share in cash for their stock. In explaining the deal, executives noted that the rise of cloud computing and data analytics has dramatically increased the amount of information that needs processing, and only the computing power that Cray's products provide is sufficient to provide the answers hidden in all that data. Interestingly, the gains for Cray's shares put their price well above the $35 mark, suggesting that investors believe rival bidders might come in with more generous offers for the supercomputer specialist.

Lions Gate looks to the Starz

Finally, Class A shares of Lions Gate Entertainment picked up 15%. Reports surfaced Friday that media giant CBS had reputedly offered to buy Lions Gate's Starz, putting a price tag of roughly $5 billion on the cable network. According to the report, Lions Gate chose to turn down the offer, perhaps in the hopes of extracting more money from its industry peer for arguably its most important asset. Content is king in today's media world, and Lions Gate is right to demand premium prices for it -- even though its stock price has suffered a lot recently.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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Stocks Mentioned

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. Stock Quote
Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.
LGF-A
$15.26 (1.26%) $0.19
Under Armour, Inc. Stock Quote
Under Armour, Inc.
UAA
$23.98 (2.17%) $0.51
Cray Inc. Stock Quote
Cray Inc.
CRAY
Under Armour, Inc. Stock Quote
Under Armour, Inc.
UA
$20.37 (1.95%) $0.39
Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. Stock Quote
Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.
LGF-B
$14.07 (1.81%) $0.25
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company Stock Quote
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company
HPE
$15.12 (-0.33%) $0.05

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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