Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Upgrades: Biogen Idec Inc., Darden Restaurants, Inc., and DIRECTV

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on BIIB, DRI, and DTV

by 3/25/2013 8:51 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on biotech concern Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB - 178.00), restaurateur Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI - 49.62) , and digital broadcasting firm DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV - 55.37). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • BIIB received some upbeat attention this morning, after European regulators recommended approval of Tecfidera, the firm's multiple sclerosis drug. Specifically, the equity scored price-target hikes at Morgan Stanley (to $188 from $177) and BMO (to $186 from $158), which could help add to its year-to-date gain of roughly 22%. Overall sentiment toward the stock is still bearishly skewed, however, as Biogen Idec maintains 10 "buy" or better recommendations, compared to 11 lukewarm "hold" suggestions. What's more, the security's average 12-month price target of $175.14 reflects a discount to Friday's closing price of $178.

  • Up about 10% so far this year, DRI saw its price target increased to $45 from $40 at Susquehanna today, thanks to better-than-expected quarterly earnings released Friday morning. In addition, Stephens upgraded the shares to "overweight" from "equal weight," and hiked its price target to $60 from $52. Meanwhile, Darden's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio sits at 1.38, confirming calls bought to open have outnumbered puts during the past two weeks. This ratio ranks higher than 77% of comparable annual readings, meaning traders have been scooping up calls over puts at an accelerated clip.

  • DTV -- which sports a 2013 advance of more than 10% -- was upgraded to "buy" from "neutral" at Guggenheim ahead of the opening bell. Additionally, the brokerage firm boosted the stock's price target to $64 from $56. This optimism seems to be prevalent among the short-term options crowd, as well. Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) for DTV checks in at 0.95, indicating calls slightly outpace puts among options scheduled to expire within the next three months. This ratio is docked in the 32nd percentile of its annual range, denoting a stronger-than-usual preference for DIRECTV calls over puts lately.

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