Analyst Upgrades: Cisco Systems, GoDaddy, Akebia

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO), Godaddy Inc (NYSE:GDDY), and Akebia Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:AKBA)

May 11, 2015 at 9:37 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on blue chip Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO), web domain giant Godaddy Inc (NYSE:GDDY), and biopharmaceutical firm Akebia Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:AKBA). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on CSCO, GDDY, and AKBA.

  • A pair of brokerage firms weighed in on CSCO ahead of the company's turn in the earnings confessional Wednesday evening. Pacific Crest, for example, upped its outlook to "overweight" from "sector weight," while Raymond James raised its price target to $33 from $30. Technically speaking, CSCO has done well over the past 12 months, tacking on nearly 28% -- and at its present perch of $29.67, is within a chip-shot of its March 2 seven-year peak of $30.31. Option traders, meanwhile, have been rolling the dice on more upside in recent months, especially in response to last week's management shake-up. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), Cisco Systems, Inc.'s 50-day call/put volume ratio of 3.21 rests in the 68th annual percentile.

  • GDDY will unveil its inaugural post-IPO earnings report tomorrow night, and in the lead-up to the big event, several analysts initiated coverage on the stock -- sending the shares 3% higher out of the gate. Included in the bunch were RBC and JMP Securities, which started GDDY with "outperform" ratings, as well as $30 price targets -- uncharted territory for the Wall Street newcomer. The most optimistic outlook, however, came from Piper Jaffray, which gave Godaddy Inc an "overweight" rating and a $36 price target -- representing expected upside of 40% to the equity's present price of $25.63. In the options pits, speculators have shown a distinct preference for long puts over calls in recent weeks, per GDDY's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 2.63.

  • Needham initiated coverage on AKBA with a "buy" rating and a $14 price target -- a 79% premium to the stock's current price of $7.82 -- echoing the general consensus of the brokerage bunch. In fact, the average 12-month price target for AKBA is $30.50, territory not charted since June 2014. This optimism is a little unwarranted, considering the shares have surrendered almost two-thirds of their value over the past 52 weeks. Should Akebia Therapeutics Inc continue to struggle on the charts, a round of price-target hikes could pressure the shares lower. Separately, the firm announced its first-quarter financial results this morning, and said it expects mid-stage trial data for its dialysis treatment in the third quarter.

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