Analyst Upgrades: Shire plc, Garmin Ltd., and Visa Inc.

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on Shire PLC (ADR) (SHPG), Garmin Ltd. (GRMN), and Visa Inc (V)

Jan 26, 2015 at 9:31 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on biopharmaceutical issue Shire PLC (ADR) (NASDAQ:SHPG), GPS maker Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ:GRMN), and credit card concern Visa Inc (NYSE:V). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on SHPG, GRMN, and V.

  • SHPG is headed for a 2.3% gain out of the gate, after the Food and Drug Administration approved Natpara, the hypoparathyroidism drug from NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:NPSP) -- which Shire PLC (ADR) is buying for $5.2 billion. In light of the news, SHPG scored price-target hikes from RBC (to $248) and Leerink (to $240) -- complementing yesterday's upward revision to $263 from $247 at Jefferies. Since hitting a recent low of $156.25 in October, the shares of SHPG have rebounded 38.3% to land at $216.03. Still, option buyers remain bearish, as the equity's 10-day put/call volume ratio on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) of 1.00 stands higher than 73% of all other readings from the past year.

  • GRMN is poised to pop 3.7%, thanks to an upgrade to "outperform" from "sector perform" at RBC. The brokerage firm also lifted its price target to $67, representing expected upside of 26.4% from Garmin Ltd.'s closing price of $53.01 on Friday. The upbeat analyst attention is relatively rare for GRMN, which sports just three "buy" or better recommendations, compared to seven "holds" and one "strong sell." In the same pessimistic vein, short interest accounts for 15.7% of the stock's total available float, and would take nearly three weeks to repurchase, at GRMN's average daily trading volume. On the charts, GRMN is a hair's breadth north of its year-to-date breakeven level, and has struggled to topple its 20-week moving average in recent weeks.

  • Finally, V scored a price-target hike to $300 from $248 at J.P. Morgan Securities, which also reiterated its "overweight" opinion. Visa Inc is no stranger to optimism, though, as 20 out of 24 brokerage firms consider the stock a "buy" or better. Plus, the average 12-month price target of $283.50 stands in uncharted territory for the shares. That's not to say the analyst appreciation isn't deserved, though. V has added 16.7% during the past year, and touched an all-time peak of $269.32 in late December. On Friday, V settled at $258.29. Looking ahead, the company will report fiscal first-quarter earnings Thursday night.

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