Analyst Upgrades: GM, Palo Alto Networks, Valeant Pharma

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on General Motors Company (GM), Palo Alto Networks Inc (PANW), and Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (VRX)

May 28, 2015 at 9:26 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on car manufacturer General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), cybersecurity provider Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW), and pharmaceutical name Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on GM, PANW, and VRX.

  • GM has added 1.1% in pre-market trading, thanks in part to Morgan Stanley, which upgraded the stock to "equal weight" from "underweight." This comes after yesterday's news that lawsuits pertaining to the company's ignition switch issues will be put on hold. Looking back, the shares hit an annual high of $38.99 on March 23, but have given back 8.2% since, settling at $35.81 yesterday. Regardless, call buying has been popular lately. General Motors Company's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio comes in at 3.81, higher than 88% of all readings from the past year.

  • With its close yesterday at $160.65, PANW has easily doubled in the past year. The stock looks poised to continue that success today, pointed 1.2% higher ahead of the open after the company's fiscal third-quarter figures -- and purchase of fellow cybersecurity firm CirroSecure -- were met with a round bullish analyst attention. No fewer than 10 brokerage firms raised their price targets on the equity, with JMP Securities setting the highest bar by far, with a price target of $210. This favorable attention from the Street is nothing new; 17 of 20 brokerage firms say Palo Alto Networks Inc is a "buy" or better. What's more, the stock's recent crop of option bulls are likely cheering the news.

  • FDA approval on the company's irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) drug, Xifaxan, has VRX moving higher in electronic trading. The shares are poised to open 1.4% higher -- and in uncharted territory -- ready to add to their 67.1% year-to-date lead, as of yesterday's close at $239.12. In the option pits, traders have been buying to open puts at an accelerated rate. Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 1.23 is only 4 percentage points from an annual high. However, given the stock's impressive technical performance, it's could be that some of this activity is from shareholders hedging against any downward moves in the underlying.

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