Analyst Update: ISIS Pharma, LinkedIn, Lululemon

Analysts revised their ratings on ISIS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ISIS), LinkedIn Corp (LNKD), and Lululemon Athletica inc. (LULU)

May 4, 2015 at 1:41 PM
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Analysts are weighing in today on drugmaker ISIS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISIS), professional networking name LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD), and athletic apparel maker Lululemon Athletica inc. (NASDAQ:LULU). Here's a quick look at today's brokerage notes on ISIS, LNKD, and LULU.

  • ISIS was temporarily halted this morning, after the company said Bayer bought the rights to its anti-clotting drug. The stock was last seen 3.6% higher at $60.33, and BMO and Needham expect a rally to record highs. Specifically, the firms upped their price targets to $95 and $88, respectively, and reiterated the equivalent of a "buy" rating. ISIS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. will step up to the earnings plate bright and early tomorrow, and option players have been upping the bearish ante. On the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.51 stands higher than 80% of all other readings from the past year. The stock has averaged a single-session post-earnings move of 3.5% over the past eight quarters, but its near-term at-the-money straddle is pricing in a 6.5% move. On the charts, meanwhile, ISIS is just off a test of support in the $55-$56 neighborhood, which has contained the equity's pullbacks since December. 
  • LNKD is still taking heat from Friday's ugly guidance, with the shares off 1.4% at $202.29. Pressuring the stock was a price-target cut to $250 from $300 at FBN Securities, and a reduction to $220 from $275 at Baird (though Argus upped its rating on the equity to "buy"). The shares have surrendered roughly 20% so far in May, bringing their 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) to 18 -- in oversold territory. However, the stock could extend its journey to seven-month lows, should more analysts abandon the bullish bandwagon. Currently, LNKD boasts 19 "buy" or better endorsements, compared to eight "holds" and just one "strong sell." Plus, the average 12-month price target of $257.49 represents a premium of 27.3% to LinkedIn Corp's current price.
  • LULU, on the other hand, is flirting with a 1.4% gain at $64.46, thanks to an "outperform" initiation at RBC. In addition, the brokerage firm implemented a price target of $77 -- a neighborhood not explored since October 2013. Since bouncing off support at its 80-month moving average in October 2014, the shares of LULU have soared more than 70%. However, option traders aren't convinced, as the equity's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 1.90 stands higher than 98% of all other readings from the past year, suggesting buyers are picking up puts over calls at a rapid-fire clip. Likewise, short interest represents more than a week's worth of pent-up buying demand, at Lululemon Athletica inc.'s average pace of trading. Should the stock extends its journey higher, a mass exodus of option bears or a short squeeze could add fuel to LULU's fire.

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