Analyst Update: Bristol-Myers, Achillion, Kimberly Clark

Analysts adjusted their ratings on BMY, ACHN, and KMB

Dec 23, 2014 at 2:53 PM
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Analysts are weighing in today on pharmaceutical companies Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY) and Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACHN), as well as consumer products manufacturer Kimberly Clark Corp (NYSE:KMB). Here's a quick look at today's brokerage notes on BMY, ACHN, and KMB.

  • After news broke that BMY's new melanoma drug Opdivo was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ahead of schedule, Cowen and Company raised its price target on the stock to $70 from $59, while reaffirming its "outperform" rating. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co has been on a tear recently, outperforming the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by more than 12 percentage points in the last 60 sessions. However, despite this morning's positive attention -- and the fact it touched a 13-year high of $61.77 out of the gate -- BMY has followed its pharmaceutical peers into the red , last seen at $58.74. Still, 31.2 million shares of the drugmaker are sold short, and would take over a week to buy back, at the equity's average daily trading volume. If BMY can bounce back from this sector-wide decline and resume its run to higher highs, there's plenty of cash on the sideline to provide a boost.

  • ACHN is another pharmaceutical stock hurting today, off 25% after Baird downgraded it to "neutral" from "outperform," citing questions about recent drug data, but raised its target price by $4 to $16. The stock was last seen at $11.78, and until today was on fire, as yesterday it hit a seven-year high of $16.87. The sentiment in the analyst community is almost entirely bullish, with 90% of covering firms issuing "strong buy" recommendations. Elsewhere, Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.'s 50-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 0.26 ranks in the bearishly skewed 79th percentile of its annual range, implying puts have been bought to open over calls at a faster-than-normal pace. However, this is likely the result of shareholders hedging against a downward move in the stock.

  • KMB touched an all-time high of $118.57 earlier, after BMO bumped its price target by $9 to $125 and reiterated its "outperform" recommendation. With today's 1.5% gain, the equity has added over 18% year-to-date to trade at $118.20. Additional analyst upgrades could be on the horizon for Kimberly Clark Corp, as nine of the 10 covering brokerage firms currently issue tepid "hold" ratings. Not only that, but the security has already surpassed its consensus 12-month price target of $111.62, possibly paving the way for additional price-target hikes.

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