Analyst Update: Yelp Inc., Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc, and Imperva, Inc.

Analysts adjusted their ratings on Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP), Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AERI), and Imperva Inc (NYSE:IMPV)

by Griffin Kruse

Published on May 8, 2015 at 1:29 PM

Analysts are weighing in today on business review website Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP), biotech firm Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AERI), and data security specialist Imperva Inc (NYSE:IMPV). Here's a quick look at today's brokerage notes on YELP, AERI, and IMPV. 

  • The shares of YELP are 6.4% higher at $50.03, as the company continues to benefit from reports that it is exploring a sale -- though IAC/InterActive Corp (NASDAQ:IACI) already said it's not interested. In response, Deutsche Bank raised its price target by $5 to $56 while reaffirming its "buy" opinion. Technically speaking, the shares of Yelp Inc tacked on 23% in trading yesterday, but even after today's additional gains, they still remain 8.6% in the red year-to-date. Furthermore, the equity could run into a roadblock in the $52 neighborhood -- an area of congestion before the stock's post-earnings bear gap on April 30. Heading into today's session, short-term options traders had been more call-heavy than usual, as YELP's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.66 stands in the 25th percentile of its annual range. Said another way, these speculators have only been more call-skewed 25% of the time over the past year. Elsewhere, short interest increased by 7.3% over the last reporting period, and now accounts for about 15% of YELP's available float. It would take these bettors about four sessions to cover their positions, at average trading volumes. 
  • AERI posted a first-quarter earnings loss in line with analyst expectations, and released encouraging updates on its glaucoma drugs, sending the shares 10.4% higher to $11.54. In fact, AERI is one of the top percentage gainers on the Nasdaq thus far. Reacting was Cantor Fitzgerald, which raised its rating to "buy" while hiking its price target to $15. On the charts, the shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc are down 60.4% year-to-date, mostly due to an April 24 bear gap after the firm announced disappointing drug trial results. However, traders have shown a preference for calls over puts -- over the past 10 days at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), 8.70 AERI calls have been bought to open for every put. Meanwhile, the brokerage bunch is mostly optimistic on the stock, as over half of covering analysts rate it a "buy" or "strong buy."
  • IMPV received price-target hikes from no fewer than seven brokerage firms, after the firm reported a slimmer-than-expected first-quarter loss and offered upbeat full-year guidance. Drilling down, the most ambitious hike came from Needham (to $67), while Deutsche Bank, Oppenheimer, and RBC all raised their targets to $58. At last check, the shares of Imperva Inc were 16% higher at $52.32 -- and earlier touched an annual high of $54.69 -- putting them 5.8% in the black year-to-date. What's more, IMPV is among the top percentage gainers on the Big Board, and today's pop has the shares well above $50, which has served as resistance in 2015. Looking to the options pits, puts have been a popular choice, as IMPV's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 1.41 stands in the 87th percentile of its annual range. Also, IMPV's SOIR of 1.06 is in the 100th annual percentile, showing that near-term traders have never been more put-skewed over the past year. 

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