Analyst Update: Hologic, Inc., Varian Medical Systems, Inc., and Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Analysts adjusted their ratings on Hologic, Inc. (HOLX), Varian Medical Systems, Inc. (VAR), and Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc (PCRX)

by Griffin Kruse

Published on Jan 29, 2015 at 1:51 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:10 PM

Analysts are weighing in today on medical equipment specialists Hologic, Inc., (NASDAQ:HOLX) and Varian Medical Systems, Inc. (NYSE:VAR), as well as drugmaker Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:PCRX). Here's a quick look at today's brokerage notes on HOLX, VAR, and PCRX.

  • HOLX is up 3.7% to trade at $30.70, and reached a six-year high of $30.74 earlier, following last night's upbeat earnings report. In response, the stock -- up 46.1% year-over-year -- saw its price target raised by no fewer than seven brokerage firms, but slashed by one. Leerink, for example, boosted its price target to $34 from $30 and reiterated its "outperform" rating, while SunTrust Robinson cut its target price by $6 to $18 and underscored a "reduce" rating. Meanwhile, bullish sentiment in Hologic, Inc.'s options pits is peaking, with the stock's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 547.78 resting in the 100th percentile of its annual range. However, in spite of the stock's withstanding technical tenacity, HOLX's current price stands at a discount to its consensus 12-month price target of $28.56, and eight out of 15 covering analysts rate the stock a "hold" or worse, implying that an additional round of price-target hikes and/or upgrades could be on the horizon.

  • VAR is up 10.6% today to perch at $95.66, and notched an all-time high of $95.70 earlier, after the company unveiled a fiscal first-quarter earnings beat last night. As a result, Varian Medical Systems, Inc. received price-target hikes from Brean Capital, Baird, and Jefferies (to $96, $99, and $100, respectively), with all three firms reiterating either "buy" or "outperform" ratings. Surprisingly, puts have been a popular choice in the options pits, with the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 2.99 arriving in the 96th percentile of its annual range. Simply stated, short-term traders are more put-heavy than usual at the moment. Traders are paying a premium for their front-month bets on the stock, per its Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 30%, which is higher than 77% of all similar readings taken over the past year.

  • Shares of PCRX are up 7.8% this afternoon to linger near $109.48, after Goldman Sachs raised its price target by $16 to $126, while reiterating its "buy" rating. On the charts, Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc has advanced a staggering 65.3% year-over-year, and has outperformed the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by over 16 percentage points during the last month. Surprisingly, bearish sentiment in the options pits is reaching fever pitch, with the security's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 1.55 sitting just 2 percentage points away from an annual pessimistic peak. The analyst community is still upbeat on PCRX, though, with five out of six covering analysts rating the stock a "strong buy," without a single "sell" rating to be found.

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