Analyst Upgrades: Heron Therapeutics Inc, Finish Line Inc, and Total SA

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on Heron Therapeutics Inc (HRTX), Finish Line Inc (FINL), and Total SA (ADR) (TOT)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Sep 23, 2015 at 9:09 AM

Analysts are weighing in today on drugmaker Heron Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:HRTX), retailer Finish Line Inc (NASDAQ:FINL), and energy operator Total SA (ADR) (NYSE:TOT). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on HRTX, FINL, and TOT.

  • HRTX is rocketing higher in pre-market trading, after the company's pain drug met a mid-stage study goal -- prompting no fewer than four price-target hikes. The most ambitious came from Jefferies, which lifted its target to $58 -- representing a 72.8% premium to HRTX's close of $33.56 yesterday. The shares are pointed 23.7% north this morning -- more of the same for Heron Therapeutics Inc, which has almost quadrupled in value year-over-year. Short sellers could fuel even more upward momentum, as they begin to throw in the towel on their losing bets. A lofty 12.6% of HRTX's float is sold short, which would take one week to buy back, at the stock's typical daily volume.

  • Ahead of Friday morning's earnings report, FINL saw its rating bumped to "outperform" from "market perform," and its price target raised to $30 from $28, at FBR. FINL has advanced just 1.4% in 2015, as of Tuesday's close at $24.66, but is pointed 9% higher in pre-market trading. Option traders have been ramping up their bearish bets in light of Finish Line Inc's recent pullback, which kicked off with the broader equities market on Aug. 21. On the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), FINL has racked up a 50-day put/call volume ratio of 1.81 -- in the 78th percentile of its annual range.

  • Macquarie started coverage on TOT with an "outperform" rating and 48 euro price target, and also named the stock a "top pick" -- despite predicting that oil companies' "current very positive strength" in downstream earnings will fade by year-end. Separately, Total SA (ADR) is making headlines after cutting capex and output targets, though the firm reassured investors its dividend was safe. The brokerage crowd is already overwhelmingly optimistic toward the shares. Eight of 11 analysts tracking TOT have doled out a "buy" or better rating -- with not a single "sell" in sight -- while its consensus 12-month price target of $55.03 stands at a 25.7% premium to yesterday's close at $43.79. Ahead of the bell, the stock is up nearly 2%.

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