Hot Stocks: Green energy rally; FHN gets bought; SBRCY drops on sanctions; OXY new high; ITRI new low

Stocks bounced back from an early slide to finish Monday's session with a mixed performance. With investors digesting the latest headlines out of Ukraine and Russia, the Nasdaq climbed into positive territory late in the session, while the Dow and S&P cut their early losses.

The choppy trading session included a sizable rally in the renewable energy space. Amid higher oil prices and a merger deal involving Renewable Energy Group Inc. (NASDAQ:REGI), shares of alternative energy companies received a significant lift, including double-digit percentage gains in Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ:BLDP), JinkoSolar (NYSE:JKS), FuelCell (NASDAQ:FCEL) and Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG).

M&A news also drove gains in First Horizon (NYSE:FHN). The stock jumped about 40% on a deal to be acquired by Toronto-Dominion Bank (NYSE:TD).

Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY) was another standout gainer on the session. A debt repurchase plan sent the stock to a new 52-week high.

Looking at some of the day's worst performers, Sberbank of Russia (OTCPK:SBRCY)(OTCPK:AKSJF) plunged more than 70% on the session. The conflict in Ukraine and increased sanctions on Russia sparked the latest selling spree.

Itron (NASDAQ:ITRI) also lost ground, posting a double-digit percentage loss following the release of disappointing quarterly results.

Sector In Focus

Green energy stocks saw significant buying interest on Monday. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine, with its upward push on oil prices, drew attention to alternative energy sources. At the same time, a large merger deal in the space sparked conjecture about the potential for established energy giants snapping up other renewable producers.

Biofuels producer Renewable Energy Group Inc. (REGI) jumped 40% on the session after it signed a deal to be acquired by Chevron (NYSE:CVX). The deal calls for a purchase price of $61.50 per share in cash, equating to about $3.15B in total value for the transaction.

Along with REGI, a broad swath of green energy stocks saw an upswing. This came in part on a bet that the Russian crisis would accelerate the push into renewables by driving oil prices significantly higher.

Ballard Power Systems (BLDP) advanced almost 17%, JinkoSolar (JKS) climbed about 16%, FuelCell (FCEL) rallied around 14% and Plug Power (PLUG) climbed nearly 12%.

Standout Gainer

A merger deal sparked a stampede into shares of First Horizon (FHN), which announced a deal to be acquired by the Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) in a deal valued at $13.4B. On the news, FHN rallied almost 29%.

Under the terms of the agreement, TD will pay $25 a share in cash to acquire FHN. The transaction is scheduled to close in Q1 of fiscal 2023. The purchase is expected to be immediately accretive to adjusted EPS, although the companies predicted $1.3B in merger and integration costs.

FHN finished Monday's trading at $23.48, a gain of $5.23 on the day. The stock also jumped above long-term resistance to set a fresh intraday 52-week high of $24.24.

Standout Loser

With Western countries increasing their sanctions on Russia over the weekend, Sberbank of Russia (OTCPK:SBRCY)(OTCPK:AKSJF) added to its recent weakness with another massive drop. Shares cratered 72%, a standout slide amid continued pressure on Russian stocks.

Over the weekend, the U.S. and its allies stepped up their response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. This included removing "selected Russian banks" from the global SWIFT system, dramatically limiting their ability to conduct cross-border transactions.

For SBRCY specifically, the European Central Bank identified three of its subsidiaries as failing or likely to fail as a result of deteriorating liquidity. This includes Sberbank Europe AG and its two subsidiaries in Croatia and Slovenia.

SBRCY dropped $3.18 to finish the day at $1.25. Shares also touched an intraday 52-week low of $1.09.

While the stock saw a partial rebound on Friday, shares had lost substantial ground last week amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine. With Monday's drop, the stock has finished lower in seven of the last eight sessions.

SBRCY closed at $14.97 on Feb. 15, meaning it has shed about 92% of its value in less than two weeks.

Notable New High

Bolstered by a debt repurchase plan and general bullishness in the oil market, Occidental Petroleum (OXY) jumped 13% on the session and reached a fresh 52-week high.

The oil and natural gas producer revealed that it planned to repurchase $2.5B in debt. The program will target 15 tranches of notes that mature between 2023 and 2049.

OXY also got a boost from continued strength in the oil prices. Crude jumped more than 4% to a level above $95 a barrel. The continued conflict in Ukraine has raised supply concerns, accelerating an already strong oil market.

The debt repurchase and the tailwind from oil prices sent OXY higher by $4.99, allowing the stock to close at $43.73. Shares also established an intraday 52-week high of $43.78.

Looking longer-term, the stock has been rising since late December. OXY has climbed nearly 62% since that point.

Notable New Low

The release of disappointing quarterly results put pressure on Itron (ITRI). The stock plummeted 13% to reach a new low.

The provider of technology aimed at energy and water resource management reported quarterly revenue of nearly $485M, a decline of almost 8% from last year. This also missed projections by almost $23M.

While bookings came in at a record level of $1.1B in Q4, gross margins declined.

ITRI declined $7.03 to finish Monday at $47.67. Earlier in the day, shares showed an even deeper slide, reaching an intraday 52-week low of $45.12.

The slide has added to a long-standing retreat. The stock rallied to a 52-week high of $122.31 in February of last year but has been losing ground since. ITRI has lost about 60% of its value in the past year.

Looking for more of the day's biggest winners and losers? Head over to Seeking Alpha's On The Move section.

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