Analyst Upgrades: Dollar General Corporation, Hewlett-Packard Company, and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc.

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on Dollar General Corp. (DG), Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ), and Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (VRX)

by Josh Selway

Published on Feb 23, 2015 at 9:19 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Analysts are weighing in today on discount retailer Dollar General Corp. (NYSE:DG), tech name Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ), and pharmaceutical company Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on DG, HPQ, and VRX.

  • J.P. Morgan Securities resumed coverage on DG this morning, setting a price target of $85 with an "overweight" rating. As for the other analysts tracking the shares, sentiment remains mixed. Ten of the covering brokerage firms deem the stock a "strong buy," with the nine others calling it a "hold" or worse. In Dollar General Corp.'s options pits, though, speculators' outlook is decidedly bearish. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the security's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 1.18 is in its 96th annual percentile, meaning traders have bought to open puts versus calls at a faster clip only 4% of the time in the past year. DG has been solid of late, technically speaking, closing at $71.69 on Friday for a 7% month-to-date gain.

  • On a long-term basis, HPQ has been strong on the charts, adding roughly 29% in the past 52 weeks. In 2015, though, it's been a different story, with the stock off over 4%, finishing Friday at $38.39. BMO, however, is looking past the shares' recent struggles, raising its price target by $1 to $43, and keeping its "market perform" recommendation. The tentatively positive note, which has the stock 0.2% higher in electronic trading, comes ahead of Hewlett-Packard Company's earnings report, scheduled for tomorrow after the close. Ahead of this event, option traders are positioning themselves in the bulls' corner. The equity's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 2.43 is higher than four-fifths of all such readings from the past year.

  • VRX is seeing a pre-market surge, gaining 8.8%, after announcing it has finalized a $10.1 billion deal to acquire Salix Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SLXP). In response, Cantor Fitzgerald boosted its price target on VRX to $214 from $184, while maintaining its "buy" assessment -- mirroring the general sentiment on the Street. Specifically, 11 of 13 covering analysts call Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc a "buy" or better, with the remaining two handing out "hold" opinions. The stock had already been gaining on the charts in 2015, tacking on 21% since the start of the year. Regardless, short-term speculators have taken a put-biased approach. VRX's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 2.34 is only 4 percentage points from an annual high. Said differently, speculative traders have rarely been more put-skewed.

A Schaeffer's exclusive


Access your FREE insider report before it's too late!



NEW! Explore Schaeffer’s Partners' deals and get connected to top online brokerages with deals tailored exclusively for our readers.  Get answers to your questions regarding transfer fees, commission rates, programs and available discounts related to online trading services.

MORE | MARKETstories

IRA/401k: The Crash-Proof Retirement Plan
Use gold to protect any IRA, 401(k), or retirement account from a looming financial crisis.
Ulta Stock Moves Lower on New Coronavirus Measures
Ulta has closed all of its stores until further notice
Johnson & Johnson Stock Scaling Dow After COVID-19 Vaccine Update
Johnson & Johnson hopes to have 1 billion doses available by early 2021
IRA/401k: The Crash-Proof Retirement Plan
Use gold to protect any IRA, 401(k), or retirement account from a looming financial crisis.