Analyst Update: Panera Bread Company, Netflix, Inc., and Healthways, Inc.

Analysts adjusted their ratings on Panera Bread Co (NASDAQ:PNRA), Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), and Healthways, Inc. (NASDAQ:HWAY)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on May 19, 2015 at 11:34 AM

Analysts are weighing in today on fast-casual restaurant chain Panera Bread Co (NASDAQ:PNRA), streaming content provider Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), and health care company Healthways, Inc. (NASDAQ:HWAY). Here's a quick roundup of today's brokerage notes on PNRA, NFLX, and HWAY.

  • PNRA jumped to an annual high of $188 earlier, after Cowen upgraded the stock to "outperform" from "market perform," and raised its price target to $210 from $172 -- uncharted territory. At last check, the shares remain 2.5% higher at $187.71, bringing their year-to-date advance to 7.4%. This should be music to the ears of recent Panera Bread Co call buyers. During the past two weeks at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), PNRA has accrued a call/put volume ratio of 2.31 -- outranking 89% of comparable readings from the past year. Meanwhile, PNRA will host its annual shareholders meeting on Thursday.

  • NFLX is also fresh off its own technical milestone, hitting an all-time best of $628.50 this morning. The shares have been hot in recent sessions, with today's gains following in the footsteps of a $200 price-target hike to $850 at Pivotal Research. Option bulls -- of which there are many -- should like what they're seeing. Netflix, Inc.'s 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 1.16 ranks in the 85th percentile of its annual range. In other words, traders have bought to open NFLX calls over puts at a faster rate just 15% of the time in the last 12 months.

  • On the other side of the fence, HWAY is buckling under the weight of a downgrade to "hold" from "buy" at Stifel -- with the brokerage firm citing uncertainty following Monday's management shake-up. The shares were last seen 4.1% lower at $16.25, bringing their year-to-date deficit to 18.3%. While Healthways, Inc. shareholders can't be happy with this price action, short sellers should be. More than 16% of HWAY's float is dedicated to short interest, which represents nine days' worth of trading, at typical daily volumes.

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