Analyst Update: General Motors Company, Rambus Inc., and AstraZeneca plc (ADR)

Analysts adjusted their ratings on General Motors Company (GM), Rambus Inc. (RMBS), and AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (AZN)

by Mark Fightmaster

Published on Oct 20, 2015 at 12:51 PM

Analysts are weighing in today on auto manufacturer General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), tech concern Rambus Inc. (NASDAQ:RMBS), and pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN). Here's a quick roundup of today's brokerage notes on GM, RMBS, and AZN.

  • GM is 1.1% higher at $33.61 ahead of tomorrow's earnings report, after Susquehanna elevated the auto manufacturer's price target to $37 from $36. Technically, General Motors has rallied 37% since setting an two-year low of $24.62 on Aug. 24. This rally has run headlong into the stock's 10- and 20-month moving averages, both docked in the $34 neighborhood. Option bears have picked up puts over calls at a rapid-fire rate, as tomorrow's earnings report looms. GM's 10-day put/call volume ratio on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) comes in at a 52-week high of 1.61. If tomorrow's earnings report contains a pleasant surprise, capitulation from these option bears could drive the shares higher.

  • RMBS has plunged 25% to $10.41, after the company reported lackluster quarterly sales and issued unimpressive guidance.  Rambus Inc. also announced that it will cut roughly 8% of its staff. Jefferies took this opportunity to cut RMBS' price target to $11.50 from $14.50, and Topeka Capital and Citigroup both lowered their price targets to $14. Technically, today's news sent the shares into the red on a year-to-date basis, down 7.5%. One group that may be happy with the earnings shortfall is option bears. RMBS's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.18 on the ISE/CBOE/PHLX ranks higher than 89% of the readings taken in the past year.   

  • Pharmaceutical firm AZN has dropped 3.7% to $31, after receiving a downgrade from Credit Suisse. The brokerage cut its rating on AstraZeneca plc (ADR) to "underperform" from "neutral," and cut its price target to $61.89 from $66.83, citing concerns about pricing power. Technically, AZN has marched 11.8% lower in 2015, under pressure from its 10-month moving average. Option players have taken note of this underperformance, as AZN's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 1.00 ranks in the 74th percentile of its annual range. 
For other stocks in analysts' crosshairs, read Analyst Upgrades: The Fresh Market Inc, Tesla Motors Inc, and Weight Watchers International, Inc. and Analyst Downgrades: International Business Machines Corp., Walt Disney Co, and Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd.

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