Analyst Update: Altera Corporation, Eli Lilly and Co, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated

Analysts adjusted their ratings on ALTR, LLY, and VRTX

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Dec 11, 2014 at 1:37 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Analysts are weighing in today on semiconductor firm Altera Corporation (NASDAQ:ALTR), as well as drug developers Eli Lilly and Co (NYSE:LLY) and Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX). Here's a quick look at today's brokerage notes on ALTR, LLY, and VRTX.

  • ALTR is nearly 3% higher at $38.20, following a round of price-target hikes from no fewer than five brokerage firms. The most ambitious among them is courtesy of Raymond James, which lifted its target by $5 to $45, and reiterated a "strong buy" opinion. Earlier, in fact, shares of Altera Corporation hit an annual high of $38.34, and longer term, they're up 17.5% year-to-date. Options traders remain unconvinced, however. ALTR's 10-day put/call volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) is a brow-raising 29.91, as nearly 30 puts have been bought to open for every call over the last two weeks. What's more, this number ranks just 1 percentage point shy of a 12-month high. However, a portion of these bearish positions may have been initiated by shareholders protecting against a pullback.

  • LLY has tacked on 3.1% to trade at $73.25, and earlier hit a fresh decade peak of $75.10, after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to "overweight" from "underweight," and boosted its price target to $85 from $60. On the charts, the shares have put on a show, advancing nearly 44% in 2014, ushered higher by their ascending 20-week moving average. That said, additional bullish brokerage notes could be forthcoming, potentially providing a tailwind. Three-fifths of covering analysts rate Eli Lilly and Co a "hold" or worse, and the stock's consensus 12-month price target of $68.16 represents a discount to current trading levels.

  • VRTX is benefiting from a massive price-target hike to $130 from $94 at Credit Suisse -- though the brokerage firm reiterated a tepid "neutral" opinion on the shares. Specifically, the stock has rallied almost 4% to trade at $121.78, and earlier touched an all-time high of $122.26. What's more, year-to-date, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated has gained roughly 64%. Not surprisingly, traders at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX have been betting bullishly in recent weeks. VRTX's 10-day call/put volume ratio across these exchanges is 9.24, or in the 97th percentile of its annual range.

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