Analyst Update: G-III Apparel Group, Ltd., Esperion Therapeutics Inc, and Nice Systems Ltd

Analysts adjusted their ratings on G-III Apparel Group, Ltd. (NASDAQ:GIII), Esperion Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ESPR), and Nice-Systems Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ:NICE)

by Karee Venema

Published on Jun 3, 2015 at 12:53 PM

Analysts are weighing in on apparel and accessories maker G-III Apparel Group, Ltd. (NASDAQ:GIII), biopharmaceutical firm Esperion Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ESPR), and security software specialist Nice-Systems Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ:NICE). Here's a quick roundup of today's brokerage notes on GIII, ESPR, and NICE.

  • GIII hit a record high of $66.18 earlier -- and was last seen up 9.8% at $65.97 -- after the firm's stronger-than-expected first-quarter earnings and upwardly revised full-year forecast was met with a batch of bullish brokerage notes. Wunderlich, for example, upped its price target to $75 from $62, saying G-III Apparel Group, Ltd. has "leveraged the Calvin Klein brand in department stores, done a sterling job of taking discarded concepts and revitalizing them at its own stores; its business model among the best in the apparel space." Today's positive price action just echoes the equity's longer-term technical trajectory, with GIII boasting a 31% year-to-date lead, thanks to lifts from its 50- and 60-day moving averages. In the options pits, speculators have shown a preference for long calls over puts of late, and at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), they have bought to open 1.81 calls for each put over the past 10 sessions.

  • Unlike last week's brokerage notes -- which sent shares of ESPR tumbling -- the stock is up 5.2% today, after JMP Securities boosted its price target on the shares to $177 from $121. Not only does this new outlook represent expected upside of 68.2% to the equity's current perch at $105.21, it also resides in never-before-seen territory. Longer term, ESPR has put in a strong performance on the charts, and has grown more than sevenfold over the past 52 weeks. Against this backdrop, most analysts have taken the glass-half-full approach. Of the seven brokerage firms covering the shares, six maintain a "buy" or better rating, versus just one "strong sell." Elsewhere, Esperion Therapeutics Inc's average 12-month price target of $124.67 sits at an 18.5% premium to the stock's present price -- and represents a move to record highs.

  • J.P. Morgan Securities raised its rating on NICE to "overweight" from "neutral," and upped its price target by $4 to $72. The shares have since added 3.5% to trade at $65.50, and are now less than 3 percentage points away from their May 19 all-time high of $67.15. This upward momentum is just more of the same for a stock that's up 29% on the year, and more upgrades and/or price-target hikes could be on the horizon. Currently, half of those covering Nice-Systems Ltd maintain a tepid "hold" recommendation, while the average 12-month price target of $66.86 is within a chip-shot of current trading levels.

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