Analyst Upgrades: Costco, Ralph Lauren, Esperion Therapeutics

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST), Ralph Lauren Corp (NYSE:RL), and Esperion Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ESPR)

Sep 30, 2015 at 9:24 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on retailer Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST), fashion firm Ralph Lauren Corp (NYSE:RL), and biotech Esperion Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ESPR). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on COST, RL, and ESPR.

  • Following the company's mixed fiscal fourth-quarter numbersCOST received a price-target hike to $144 from $143 at Deutsche Bank. This falls nearly right in line with the stock's close on Tuesday at $143.72. Most on the Street are already bullish on Costco Wholesale Corporation, with 13 of 21 brokerage firms saying it's a "buy" or better. For the year, the shares are 1.4% higher, though they've hit resistance in the $146-$147 area during recent months. 

  • RL is 6.8% higher in electronic trading, following news founder Ralph Lauren has stepped down as CEO, and will be replaced by Stefan Larsson -- a former executive for Gap Inc's (NYSE:GPS) Old Navy division. In response, UBS raised its opinion on the security to "buy" from "neutral," though it also lowered its price target to $128 from $133. Specifically, the brokerage firm said, "Larsson's leadership and processes have been core to transformation of Old Navy over the past 3 years and are the centerpiece of plans to turnaround Gap and Banana Republic." It's been a rough time for the stock, which has been trending lower since its early February bear gap. At $104.05, Ralph Lauren Corp is 43.8% lower in 2015, but options traders have still remained interested in calls. That's according to the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR), which, at 0.53, marks an annual low. In other words, short-term speculators are more call-biased now than at any point during the past year. 

  • Analysts continue to weigh in on ESPR after the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) request for additional data on its cholesterol treatment. Chardan Capital, for instance, raised its outlook to "neutral" from "sell," although the brokerage firm also lowered its price target to $18 from $29. Elsewhere, the stock saw its price target slashed to $45 from $120 at Citigroup and to $76 from $150 at Barclays. In the options pits, Esperion Therapeutics Inc has accumulated a 10-day call/put volume ratio of 3.89 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). This means nearly four calls have been purchased for every put during the past two weeks. Ahead of the bell, ESPR is up 8%, after closing at $18.33.

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