Stocks quoted in this article:
Analysts are weighing in today on apparel retailer The Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS - 33.26), biotech company Viropharma Inc (NASDAQ:VPHM - 23.79), and pharmaceutical concern Mylan Inc. (NASDAQ:MYL - 25.50). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.
- Up nearly 4% in pre-market action, GPS was upgraded to "hold" from "sell" at Canaccord Genuity this morning, thanks to a strong third-quarter earnings report and upwardly revised full-year guidance. The stock has gained more than 79% so far this year, yet sentiment among the brokerage bunch remains pessimistically slanted. Only 10 of the 23 covering analysts have issued a "strong buy" recommendation, versus 10 lukewarm "holds" and three "strong sell" ratings.
- Mizuho Securities started coverage of VPHM with a "buy" recommendation today, which could help the security ease its year-to-date decline of 13%. The stock has also trailed the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by nearly 11 percentage points during the past month, so it's no surprise that skepticism is running high toward VPHM. Short interest currently represents close to 17% of the equity's available float. In fact, it would take more than six days to buy back these shorted shares, at the stock's average daily trading volume.
- MYL -- which boasts a year-over-year advance of more than 42% -- was lifted to "outperform" from "market perform" at Leerink Swann ahead of the opening bell. Nevertheless, bearish speculation toward the security remains intact. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.88 is just four percentage points shy of a bearish peak. In other words, short-term options players have rarely been more put-heavy toward MYL during the past year.