Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Upgrades: Biogen Idec Inc., Costco Wholesale Corporation, and The Gap Inc.

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on BIIB, COST, and GPS

by 4/9/2013 8:53 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Analysts are weighing in today on biotech firm Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB), warehouse membership concern Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST), and apparel retailer The Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • BIIB -- which has climbed roughly 33% in 2013 to trade at $194.13 -- received a price-target boost to $215 from $180 at RBC this morning. However, sentiment in the near-term options pits is less than optimistic. Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) for Biogen Idec Inc. checks in at 1.86, with puts almost doubling calls among options slated to expire within the next three months. This ratio is just 8 percentage points away from an annual peak, confirming short-term traders have rarely been more put-heavy toward the stock during the past year.

  • Up more than 8% year-to-date to linger in the $107.04 neighborhood, COST saw its price target lifted to $97 from $92 at Jefferies ahead of the open. Nevertheless, the equity's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio sits at 1.21, indicating puts bought to open have outstripped calls during the past two weeks. This ratio ranks higher than 70% of similar annual readings, meaning traders have been picking up Costco Wholesale Corporation puts over calls at an accelerated clip.

  • GPS was also on Jefferies' radar today, as the brokerage firm raised its price target for the stock to $56 from $51. The security has trekked almost 19% higher so far this year -- while also besting the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by 10.5 percentage points during the past two months -- which could explain prevailing upbeat attitude among the brokerage bunch. The Gap Inc. currently boasts nine "strong buy" endorsements, compared to three "strong sell" suggestions. Meanwhile, the equity's average 12-month price target of $39.55 reflects expected upside of about 7.3% to yesterday's closing price of $36.85.

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