Stocks quoted in this article:
U.S. stocks are notably higher this afternoon, thanks to a batch of solid corporate earnings reports and well-received inflation and housing data. Meanwhile, among the equities in focus are blue chip McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD), online review issue Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP), and drug maker Allergan, Inc. (NYSE:AGN), which have all attracted analyst attention.
- MCD was not one of the aforementioned companies strutting off the earnings stage. The company confessed to weaker-than-expected second-quarter earnings and revenue, and projected a decline in same-store sales for July. What's more, McDonald's Corporation -- as well as sector peers like Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) -- is navigating an expired-meat crisis that started in China, but has now spread to Japan. As a result of its fundamental woes, Janney cut its fair value on MCD to $94 -- a discount to the stock's current price -- and reiterated its tepid "neutral" recommendation. At last check, the shares of MCD were bucking the broad-market trend higher, down 1.5% at $96.11.
- YELP is 0.6% higher at $68.70, after Macquarie lifted its price target on the stock to $82 from $75. The analysts also underscored their "outperform" rating on the shares, which are struggling to overcome their year-to-date breakeven level. Bullish analyst notes are nothing new for Yelp Inc, though. Twenty-three of the 31 analysts following the stock offer up "buy" or better endorsements, and the average 12-month price target of $83.61 represents expected upside of nearly 22% from YELP's current price.
- Finally, AGN is 0.5% higher at $171.94, a day after the firm announced plans to cut 1,500 jobs, or 13% of its workforce, in an attempt to fend off a hostile takeover by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc (NYSE:VRX). In light of the news, as well as Allergan, Inc.'s stronger-than-expected second-quarter earnings report, analysts are waxing optimistic on the stock. Ahead of the bell, no fewer than six brokerage firms hiked their price targets on AGN, including BMO (to $230 from $202) and UBS (to $200 from $180).