Analyst Upgrades: Facebook, Tractor Supply, Salix Pharma

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on Facebook Inc (FB), Tractor Supply Company (TSCO), and Salix Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. (SLXP)

Jan 29, 2015 at 9:46 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on social media giant Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), farm equipment retailer Tractor Supply Company (NASDAQ:TSCO), and drugmaker Salix Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SLXP). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on FB, TSCO, and SLXP.

  • Despite an initial negative earnings reaction, FB received a round of price-target hikes, after the company's fourth-quarter earnings report handily topped analysts' estimates -- thanks to a surge in mobile ad revenue. Weighing in on the stock was Cantor, which raised its price target by $10 to $90, and Stifel, which upped its target price to $97 from $94. Both brokerage firms underscored their "buy" ratings. Technically speaking, FB is up 0.4% this morning, and has been a standout on the charts, boasting a more than 42% year-over-year gain to trade at $76.55. Not surprisingly, options traders have been optimistic, as evidenced by Facebook Inc's 50-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 2.60, which ranks in the 83rd annual percentile. Simply stated, calls have been bought to open over puts at a quicker-than-usual clip in recent months.

  • No fewer than five brokerage firms raised their price targets on TSCO, following the firm's fourth-quarter profit beat. Included in the bunch were Nomura and Barclays, which each upped their price targets to $92, while reiterating their respective "buy" and "overweight" ratings. Since hitting an annual low of $55.95 in mid-October, TSCO has been on fire -- rallying nearly 46% to trade at $81.54. In fact, the equity touched a record high of $84.82 out of the gate. Should the shares extend this momentum, short sellers could start hitting the exits. Short interest rose 8.7% in the latest reporting period, to 5.6 million shorted shares. What's more, it would take more than a week to cover these bearish bets, at Tractor Supply Company's average daily pace of trading.

  • SLXP received upwardly revised price targets from Jefferies (to $149) and Cantor (to $151), after the company said it will restate its financial statements for the past seven quarters. The stock has had a strong start to the year, up 16%, and this morning has added 3.7% to trade at $132.98. However, six out of 14 analysts covering the shares maintain a tepid "hold" recommendation, and the average 12-month price target of $130.69 stands at a discount to the equity's current perch. If Salix Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. continues to outperform, a fresh wave of upgrades and/or price-target hikes could help fuel its fire.
 

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