Analyst Upgrades: Citigroup Inc., The Coca-Cola Company, and Heron Therapeutics, Inc.

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C), The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO), and Heron Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:HRTX)

by Karee Venema

Published on Jun 1, 2015 at 9:26 AM

Analysts are weighing in on banking giant Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C), beverage behemoth The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO), and biotechnology firm Heron Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:HRTX). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on C, KO, and HRTX.

  • Goldman Sachs upgraded C to "buy" from "neutral," and raised its price target to $61 from $57, saying the market is lowballing the firm's return on earnings forecast. Separately, Citigroup Inc said it is closing the doors at Banamex USA -- its California-based Mexican banking subsidiary -- amid money-laundering accusations. Technically speaking, the stock has been chugging higher since hitting a 2015 low of $46.60 on Jan. 16, up 16%. More recently, though, this upside has stalled out in the $55-to-$55.50 region, with C closing at $54.08 on Friday. Option traders have taken the glass-half-empty approach in recent weeks, and at 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 0.82 ranks in the 97th annual percentile.
  • KO saw its rating raised to "outperform" from "market perform" and its price target bumped to $48 from $44 at BMO -- representing expected upside of 17.2% to last Friday's settlement at $40.96, and a trek into never-before-seen territory. As such, the blue chip is poised to follow the broader Dow into the green today. On the charts, KO has spent most of the past year bouncing between $39 and $45. Option traders have kept the faith, though, per the security's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 5.21, which rests in the 73rd percentile of its annual range. Simply stated, calls have been bought to open over puts at a faster-than-usual clip.
  • Leerink raised its price target on HRTX to $26 from $20 -- an area not seen since March 2010. The bullish brokerage note has shares of Heron Therapeutics Inc up 8% in electronic trading, and on their way to notch a new five-year high. This positive price action only echoes the stock's recent technical showing, with HRTX adding 60% on Friday, thanks to some well-received drug data and upbeat analyst attention -- and roughly doubling in value this year. Against this backdrop, it's not surprising to see the brokerage bunch in HRTX's corner. In fact, all four analysts covering the shares maintain a "strong buy" rating, while the average 12-month price target of $29.60 stands at a 50% premium to last week's settlement at $19.76.

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