Analyst Update: Alkermes Plc, Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc., and Delta Air Lines, Inc.

Analysts adjusted their ratings on Alkermes Plc (ALKS), Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc. (PTEN), and Delta Air Lines, Inc.(DAL)

by Mark Fightmaster

Published on Sep 1, 2015 at 1:28 PM

Analysts chimed in on biopharmaceutical concern Alkermes Plc (NASDAQ:ALKS), drilling firm Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:PTEN), and air carrier Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL). Here's a quick roundup of today's brokerage notes on ALKS, PTEN, and DAL.

  • ALKS is 1.7% higher at $60.55 -- moving opposite the broader market --  this afternoon, after receiving an upgrade and price-target elevation from Morgan Stanley. The brokerage lifted Alkermes Plc to "overweight" from "underweight" and raised the firm's price target to $85 from $61 -- in territory not explored in 15 years. Technically, ALKS is doing rather well, advancing 57% since its October low south of $40. Although the stock breached support from its 10-month moving average, it has rebounded off its 20-month counterpart. ALKS could receive a bit of a boost from more analyst upgrades, as half of the 10 brokerages tracking the biopharmaceutical concern rate it a "hold" or worse.

  • PTEN has retreated 5% to $15.46, due to a broad energy swoon and a pair of brokerage moves. Wells Fargo cut Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc. to "market perform" from "outperform," while Susquehanna trimmed its price target on PTEN to $20 from $22. Today's negative notes -- echoing those of these two blue-chip oil titans -- has helped halt the stock's four-day winning streak, which started after PTEN hit a three-year low of $12.98 on Aug. 26.  The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.66 is lower than 67% of those taken in the past 52 weeks, implying short-term options traders are more call-biased than usual. This suggests that there is some optimism that could still unwind if the stock continues to drill lower. In addition, 11 of the 17 analysts tracking the firm rate it a "buy" or better; downgrades from this bullish bunch could spell further downside for PTEN.
  • DAL is 0.8% lower at $43.43, even after Deutsche Bank upped the air carrier to "buy" from "hold." The brokerage house noted that it feels that Delta Air Lines, Inc. and sector cohort American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ:AAL) are "attractive" at current levels. Technically, DAL has come face-to-face with resistance at its 10-month moving average, a previous line of support. This trendline has ascended into the $45-$50 neighborhood, which has stifled DAL's rally attempts in 2015. DAL's SOIR of 0.28 ranks in the 20th percentile of its annual range, pointing to a bigger-than-usual call bias, and the stock boasts 12 "buy" or better endorsements (out of 13 ratings). If this optimism begins to unwind, DAL could be in for a bit of turbulence.
For other stocks in analysts' crosshairs, read Analyst Upgrades: American Airlines Group Inc, VMware, Inc., and First Solar, Inc. and Analyst Downgrades: Freeport-McMoRan Inc, Chevron Corporation, and Exxon Mobil Corporation .

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