Analyst Update: Amarin, AstraZeneca, Peabody Energy

Analysts adjusted their ratings on Amarin Corporation plc (ADR) (AMRN), AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (AZN), and Peabody Energy Corporation (BTU)

Mar 12, 2015 at 11:41 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on biopharmaceutical firms Amarin Corporation plc (ADR) NASDAQ:AMRN) and AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN), as well as coal producer Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE:BTU). Here's a quick look at today's brokerage notes on AMRN, AZN, and BTU.

  • The shares of AMRN are up 30.1% at an annual high of $2.54, after Wainwright & Co quadrupled its price target to $10, and upgraded the stock to "buy." Year-to-date, Amarin Corporation plc is up a staggering 158.2%. Accordingly, calls are popular in the options pits, as AMRN's 50-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 39.06 sits in the 74th percentile of its annual range. Meanwhile, short interest accounts for 17% of the stock's available float, which would take over six sessions to cover, at average trading volumes.

  • AZN is also enjoying a boost this morning, with the shares up 3.9% to reach $66.98, as traders wax optimistic ahead of clinical trial results for heart drug Brilinta this weekend. Meanwhile, Leerink cut its price target on the equity to $74 from $77 while reiterating a "market perform" rating. On the charts, AstraZeneca plc has seen better days, with the equity down 4.8% year-to-date. However, call activity is prevalent in the options pits, as AZN's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.36 sits in the 9th percentile of its annual range. Simply stated, near-term traders are more call-skewed than normal.

  • BofA-Merrill Lynch cut its price target on BTU to $5 from $7, while simultaneously downgrading its rating to "underperform" from "neutral," citing decreased coal price estimates. Today, the shares of Peabody Energy Corporation are down 4.5% to hit $5.85 -- and earlier touched a decade-plus low of $5.82 -- contributing to a 24.5% year-to-date loss. However, the brokerage bunch hasn't given up hope on the struggling equity yet. Drilling down, seven out of seventeen covering analysts rate the stock a "buy" or better, with only one "strong sell" recommendation to be found. What's more, BTU's consensus 12-month price target of $9.50 sits at a 62.7% premium to current trading levels, leaving the door wide open for a round of bearish brokerage attention to pressure the shares lower.

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