Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Upgrades: Priceline Group Inc, Skullcandy Inc, and Illumina, Inc.

Analysts issued bullish notes on PCLN, SKUL, and ILMN

by 8/12/2014 8:52 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Analysts are upwardly revising their ratings today on discount travel site Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN), headphone specialist Skullcandy Inc (NASDAQ:SKUL), and diagnostics firm Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ:ILMN). Here's a quick look at today's bullish brokerage notes on PCLN, SKUL, and ILMN.

  • Following its Monday morning earnings report, PCLN has attracted price-target hikes from Macquarie (to $1,595 from $1,500), J.P. Morgan Securities (to $1,575 from $1,450), Pacific Crest (to $1,565 from $1,475), Jefferies (to $1,545 from $1,500), and JMP Securities (to $1,450 from $1,425). Shares of Priceline Group Inc closed yesterday at $1,309.28, up 2.2% for the session and 12.6% for the year. Most analysts are overwhelmingly bullish toward PCLN, as 94% have deemed the stock worthy of a "strong buy" or "buy" recommendation.

  • SKUL has surged more than 6% ahead of the bell, boosted by a relatively tepid upgrade to "hold" from "underperform" at Jefferies. The brokerage firm also upped its price target to $8 from $7, implying expected upside of just 6.8% from Monday's close at $7.49. SKUL has gained 38.2% over the past 52 weeks, but the shares are currently trading just below resistance at their 80-day moving average. Quite a few traders are betting on Skullcandy Inc to retreat from this technical roadblock, as a substantial 9.2% of the equity's float is sold short -- representing 8.8 times SKUL's average daily trading volume.

  • Stifel started coverage of ILMN with a "buy" rating, joining a slim majority of analysts with its upbeat opinion of the stock. Currently, nine of the 17 brokerage firms following Illumina, Inc. have handed out a "strong buy" endorsement -- which isn't too surprising, since the stock has more than doubled in value on a year-over-year basis to trade at $164.14. However, options players are bracing for a pullback from ILMN. During the past 10 sessions, traders have bought to open 1.66 puts for every call on the shares, according to the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). This ratio ranks higher than 99% of other such readings taken during the past year, within striking distance of an annual bearish peak.

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