Analyst Upgrades: Gilead, Micron Tech, Marvell Tech

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on GILD, MU, and MRVL

Dec 29, 2014 at 9:29 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on biotech issue Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), as well as semiconductor concerns Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) and Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ:MRVL). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on GILD, MU, and MRVL.

  • GILD is headed for a 2.1% gain out of the gate, thanks to a spate of upbeat analyst attention. Morgan Stanley upped its rating on GILD to "overweight" from "equal weight," and lifted its price target by $4 to $104. In addition, Barron's named Gilead Sciences, Inc. one of its top 10 picks for 2015 (subscription required). Last week was rough for GILD, as the stock surrendered 13.5% to settle at $93.79, due to competition concerns for its hepatitis C treatment. Still, most analysts remain in GILD's corner, as 14 out of 18 maintain "buy" or better opinions. Likewise, the average 12-month price target of $122 sits in uncharted territory for GILD, and represents a premium of 30% to the stock's current perch.

  • MU was also on the aforementioned Barron's list, with the analysts predicting a gain of more than 40% over the next year, helped by rising demand for smart watches and wearable devices. The shares of Micron Technology, Inc. are headed 0.3% higher ahead of the open, after landing at $35 on Friday. Longer term, MU has skyrocketed nearly 61% in 2014, so it's no surprise to find most analysts are already optimistic. In fact, 17 out of 21 have doled out "buy" or better recommendations, and the consensus 12-month price target of $42.35 sits in territory not explored since mid-2001. In the options arena, however, speculators are buying to open MU puts over calls at a near-annual-high clip ahead of earnings on Wednesday, Jan. 7, as the stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) sits at 0.71 -- higher than 97% of all other readings from the past year.

  • Finally, MRVL scored a price-target hike to $20 from $19 at Needham, which also reiterated its "buy" endorsement. The shares of MRVL are just a hair's breadth from their year-to-date breakeven level, finishing at $14.37 on Friday. Analysts are divided when it comes to Marvell Technology Group Ltd., as nine have issued "buy" or better ratings, compared to 11 "hold" or worse suggestions. However, short-term options traders are more call-heavy than usual, as the security's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.29 sits just 6 percentage points from a 12-month low.


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