Analyst Upgrades: Second Sight Medical, Harley-Davidson

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on Second Sight Medical Products Inc (NASDAQ:EYES), Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX), and Harley-Davidson Inc (NYSE:HOG)

Jul 6, 2015 at 9:41 AM
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Analysts weighed in on medical device specialist Second Sight Medical Products Inc (NASDAQ:EYES), drugmaker Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX), and motorcycle maven Harley-Davidson Inc (NYSE:HOG). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on EYES, VRTX, and HOG.

  • Rodman & Renshaw initiated coverage on EYES with a "buy" rating and a $21 price target -- representing expected upside of 47% to current levels. The stock was last seen 1.7% higher at $14.29. Second Sight Medical Products Inc had already put in a strong performance on the charts in 2015, up nearly 37% coming into today. Short sellers, however, have had their doubts. Short interest surged 10.1% in the latest reporting period, and now accounts for a lofty 16.9% of EYES' available float.

  • Analysts were quick to weigh in on VRTX, after the company's cystic fibrosis drug, Orkambi, received a regulatory win on Thursday. Chiming in on the stock was Baird, which boosted its price target to $160, as well as Leerink and William Blair, which raised their target prices to $158 -- with the latter expecting the treatment to pull in peak annual global sales of roughly $5.9 billion. Morgan Stanley, JMP Securities, and BTIG, however, all lowered their price targets. Heading into today, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated was up 10.5% on the year. More recently, the shares have been bouncing between $123 and $135 since late April, and were last seen 2.8% lower at $127.63. Short-term speculators have shown a preference for puts over calls, per VRTX's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.27, which rests in the 78th annual percentile.

  • Unlike the broader equities market, HOG is higher this morning, edging up 0.04% to $56.05, after a bullish write-up in Barron's over the weekend. "A return to peak motorcycle purchases could put earnings per share well over $6. Don’t count on that soon, but Wall Street predicts Harley will grind its way to over $5 in earnings by 2017. The lowest among nine estimates stands at $4.69. Using that, a 30% rise for shares over the next two years would close the stock’s discount to the S&P 500 by only about half." Generally speaking, the brokerage bunch is mixed toward a stock that's shed 15% year-to-date, and hit an annual low of $53.04 in mid-May. Eight analysts maintain a "buy" or better rating, while eight maintain a lukewarm "hold" recommendation. Meanwhile, the average 12-month price target of $65.15 stands at a 16.2% premium to current levels. 
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