McDermott International Deemed Bargain Acquisition Target and 2 Other Hot Stocks to Watch

McDermott International Inc. (NYSE:MDR): Current price $7.40

In response to the suggestion that the offshore oilfield-construction company McDermott is so vulnerable to a rival grabbing it at a bargain price, its shares have gone up by over 5 percent in late-morning trading Monday. Shares had fallen by 47 percent in six months, while cost overruns at projects off Malaysia and Saudi Arabia dominated the news, resulting in the stock trading near its liquidation value, said data compiled by Bloomberg. And now, McDermott could be snapped up by rivals enticed by its still-strong industry brand and manufacturing operations close to big crude producers like Saudi Arabian Oil Co., according to BB&T Corp.

Moreover, the $1.7-billion firm is said to be struggling while it builds out beyond lower-margin work in shallow water to riskier projects at deepwater sites. Capital One Financial Corp. said that after its decline, rivals Saipem SpA and Technip SA could pursue McDermott to obtain its fleet of offshore vessels for installing heavy pipelines.

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Petrobras, Petróleo Brasileiro (NYSE:PBR): Current price $14.26

Chief Financial Officer Almir Barbassa said on a conference call over second-quarter earnings that Petróleo Brasileiro SA’s asset sale plan brought $1.8 billion through the second quarter. Petrobras is attempting to divest oil fields, exploration rights, refineries, and other assets to help pay for a $237-billion, five-year investment plan. In March, the firm reduced its forecast for the value of asset sales by almost 40 percent from $14.8 billion to $9 billion.

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Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NYSE:INO): Current price $1.57

Inovio announced Friday that it took a bigger loss in the second quarter on one-time charges linked with its increased stock price. Shares have more than tripled in value during the last year, and the firm took a non-cash charge related to warrants for its shares. Inovio said that it lost $10.9 million, or 6 cents per share, in the second quarter. Revenue rose from $436,000 to $786,000 as it reported larger revenue from grants for malaria vaccine research along with other sources.

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