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Analysts are weighing in today on biopharmaceutical firm MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ:MNKD), IT services provider VMware, Inc. (NYSE:VMW), and semiconductor maker Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ:MRVL). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.
- While MNKD plunged about 32% over the past five sessions -- as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigated the company's inhaled diabetes drug Afrezza -- the shares have spiked 88% out of today's gate to perch at $7.43, on news that an FDA advisory panel voted in favor of the medication. Subsequently, MLV & Co lifted its price target on the stock to $11 from $9 this morning. (Cowen and Company, however, cut its price target to $5 from $5.50.) Meanwhile, in the options pits, MannKind Corporation has racked up a 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 1.34, which ranks in the 96th annual percentile. In other words, options speculators have bought to open puts over calls at a near-annual-high rate during the past two weeks.
- VMW -- which tagged a near-two-year high of $111.83 yesterday, and is now trading at $111.56 -- received a price-target hike to $125 from $110 at Macquarie earlier today. Though the stock has tacked on 24% on a year-to-date basis, put open interest (relative to call open interest) is nearing annual-high levels among short-term options. This is evidenced by the fact that VMware, Inc.'s Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.65 ranks just 2 percentage points from a 12-month peak.
- UBS upped its price target on MRVL to $17 from $14, after the stock surged into two-year-high territory yesterday on news that the company had to pay "enhanced damages" for patent infringement. The sum, however, was less than half the maximum amount that the plaintiff, Carnegie Mellon University, was seeking. Similar to VMW, Marvell Technology Group Ltd.'s SOIR of 1.86 ranks higher than 98% of comparable readings from the past year, meaning short-term option players have rarely been more put-heavy toward the equity during the past 12 months. MRVL shares are currently trading 12.1$ higher year-to-date at $16.10.