Analyst Update: General Motors, Rambus, AstraZeneca

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

Oct 20, 2015 at 12:51 PM
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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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