Applied Optoelectronics, Pacira Pharmaceuticals, SeaWorld Upgraded

Applied Optoelectronics, Pacira Pharmaceuticals, and SeaWorld stocks are on analysts' bullish radar today

by Alex Eppstein |

Published on Apr 13, 2017 at 9:24 AM

Analysts are weighing in on fiber optics firm Applied Optoelectronics Inc (NASDAQ:AAOI), drugmaker Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:PCRX), and theme park stock SeaWorld Entertainment Inc (NYSE:SEAS). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on shares of AAOI, PCRX, and SEAS.

Applied Optoelectronics Stock Set to Soar

AAOI reported better-than-expected preliminary first-quarter earnings, prompting bullish analyst attention. Cowen raised its price target to $75 from $66 and Craig-Hallum boosted its target to $70 from $53 -- both in record-high territory -- while Roth Capital said the company is doing "just fine in the current environment," despite widespread skepticism. On the charts, Applied Optoelectronics Inc shares are poised to gap 24.2% higher at the open, after closing yesterday at $40.82.

Shareholders are looking forward to some bullish price action, too, considering AAOI stock has finished negative in 10 of the past 12 sessions, since hitting an all-time peak of $60.19 in late March. By contrast, a recent raft of short sellers could be on pins and needles. Over the last two reporting periods, short interest jumped 70.6% on AAOI, and over one-quarter of the stock's float is committed to these bearish bets.

Pacira Pharmaceuticals Receives Another Bullish Note

RBC initiated coverage on PCRX stock with an "outperform" rating and a $58 price target -- a 27.5% premium to yesterday's close at $45.50. This could help the shares break out of their month-long consolidation pattern in the $45-$49 range, where they've been trapped since hitting a near-term peak of $58.95. Today's bullish brokerage note is par for the course when it comes to Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc. Eight analysts currently rate the stock a "strong buy," compared to just four "holds" and a single "strong sell."

Can Bullish Initiation Save Sinking SeaWorld Stock?

SEAS received a "buy" initiation at SunTrust Robinson, which also handed out a $22 price target -- representing an annual high. SeaWorld Entertainment Inc stock has been a mixed bag over the past 12 months, but most recently has been selling off, down 12.4% month-to-date at $16.01. These developments are just what short sellers have been hoping for. About one-quarter of SEAS' float is dedicated to short interest, which would take two weeks to cover, at the stock's typical daily trading volume.

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