Analyst Upgrades: Darden, SAGE Therapeutics, and Shire

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI), SAGE Therapeutics Inc (SAGE), and Shire PLC (ADR) (SHPG)

Mar 20, 2015 at 11:22 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on Oliver Garden parent Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI), as well as biopharmaceutical firms SAGE Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:SAGE) and Shire PLC (ADR) (NASDAQ:SHPG). Here's a quick look at today's brokerage notes on DRI, SAGE, and SHPG.

  • DRI is up 3.8% to reach $67.31 -- and earlier touched an all-time high of $67.38 -- after last night's fiscal third-quarter earnings beat. The news prompted Keybanc to raise its price target on the equity to $70 from $62. Additionally, Keybanc reiterated its "overweight" opinion of Darden Restaurants, Inc., which also announced it is exploring real estate options. Looking back, the shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. have been soaring, up 54.5% since touching an annual low of $43.56 on July 17. Despite this positive uptrend, there's still plenty of room on the bullish bandwagon, as over half of covering analysts rate the stock a "hold" or worse. What's more, DRI's consensus 12-month price target of $59.83 sits below current trading levels, leaving the door wide open for more bullish analyst attention to create tailwinds.

  • William Blair initiated coverage on SAGE with a lofty $75 price target and an "outperform" rating, with the price target representing a 36.6% premium to the shares' current perch of $54.90. Today, SAGE is up 6.5% -- and earlier touched an all-time high of $55.01 -- bringing the equity's year-to-date gain to a staggering 50%. The brokerage bunch is unanimously bullish on the security, as all four covering analysts rate SAGE Therapeutics Inc a "strong buy." Elsewhere, short interest decreased by over 17% over the past reporting period, but still represents roughly 7.4% of SAGE's available float, which would take over five sessions to cover, at average trading volumes.

  • Bernstein lifted its price target on SHPG to $295 -- in uncharted territory -- from $193 and revised its rating to "outperform" from "market perform," sending the shares up 1.9% to hit $255.32. On the charts, Shire PLC has been a technical beast, with the shares up over 71.4% year-over-year. Surprisingly, bearish sentiment in the options pits has reached an annual peak, as SHPG's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 4.50 stands higher than all other equivalent readings taken over the past year.

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