Analyst Update: Halozyme, Neurocrine, Priceline

Analysts adjusted their ratings on Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (HALO), Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (NBIX), and Priceline Group Inc (PCLN)

Jan 8, 2015 at 2:34 PM
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Analysts are weighing in today on biopharmaceutical companies Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:HALO) and Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:NBIX), as well as online travel concern Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN). Here's a quick look at today's brokerage notes on HALO, NBIX, and PCLN.

  • HALO is extending its rally from yesterday, after an upbeat outlook on its cancer drug, PEGPH20, was met with analyst attention from MLV & Co. and JMP Securities. The former raised its price target to $15, and underscored its "buy" rating, while the latter bumped its target price to $17 from $10, and maintained its "market outperform" recommendation. The stock has added over 12% today to trade at $14.07, putting even more pressure on short sellers, who account for over a quarter of its float. Today's price movement also puts Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. over its consensus 12-month price target of $13.38, meaning additional price-target hikes could be on the horizon.

  • A price-target increase from Cowen and Company to $35 from $20 -- and strong late-stage trial results for the endometriosis drug the company is developing with AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) -- helped NBIX gap to an eight-year high of $29.21 this morning. The brokerage firm also restated its "outperform" rating on the stock, which was last seen 20% higher at $26.24. The positive attention likely comes to the chagrin of many option traders, who have bought to open roughly three Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. puts for every call at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) in the past 50 sessions. Moreover, the resultant put/call volume ratio of 3.06 is only 4 percentage points from an annual bearish extreme.

  • Stifel cut its outlook on PCLN -- as well as sector peer Tripadvisor Inc (NASDAQ:TRIP) -- to "hold" from "buy." However, Priceline Group Inc is still 0.4% higher today at $1,073.51. This technical strength is unusual for a stock that has struggled in the longer term, losing over 7% year-over-year to sit more than 25% from its consensus 12-month price average of $1,343.96.

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