Analyst Update: Sunedison Inc, bluebird bio Inc, and TASER International, Inc.

Analysts adjusted their ratings on Sunedison Inc (SUNE), bluebird bio Inc (BLUE), and TASER International, Inc. (TASR)

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Nov 18, 2015 at 2:47 PM
Updated on Nov 18, 2015 at 2:57 PM

Analysts are weighing in today on solar energy concern Sunedison Inc (NYSE:SUNE), biotech interest bluebird bio Inc (NASDAQ:BLUE), and weapon manufacturer TASER International, Inc. (NASDAQ:TASR). Here's a quick roundup of today's brokerage notes on SUNE, BLUE, and TASR.

  • It's been a volatile day for SUNE. The stock touched a new three-year low of $2.71, then rallied as high as $3.34, and was last seen up 7% at $3.23 before getting halted for volatility. The stock got a $3 price-target cut to $15 -- still a level the shares haven't seen since August -- at BofA-Merrill Lynch. This is hardly a surprise, considering that Sunedison Inc has lost more than 84% of its value in 2015, and has shed 55.8% in November alone. Still, 10 out of 14 brokerage firms give SUNE a "buy" or better rating. The solar energy company last week fueled concerns about liquidity, and yesterday suffered a loss of more than 33% on the news that two major shareholders had drastically reduced their stakes in the company. It's no surprise that nearly one-third of the stock's available float is sold short, accounting for more than three days' of trading, at SUNE's typical volumes.

  • Goldman Sachs initiated coverage on BLUE with a "buy" rating and a price target of $165 -- more than double yesterday's close of $79.61. Bluebird bio Inc has gained 4.6% so far today, last seen at $83.25, and Goldman opined that "current share levels represent an attractive entry point." The security is down 9.2% year-to-date, and has lost more than half its value since peaking at $197.35 in May. The shares hit a year-to-date low earlier this month, after the company's quarterly earnings fell short of expectations -- yet all 12 analysts covering the stock give it a "buy" rating or better. Options traders are less convinced of BLUE's potential, though, as it holds a Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.74 -- higher than 71% of readings in the past year -- indicating a heavier-than-usual penchant for near-term puts over calls.

  • TASR is up 9.9% today, last seen trading at $18.42, thanks to an upgrade to "buy" at Ladenburg Thalmann. The brokerage firm also set a $24 price target, and waxed optimistic on TASR's chances of winning a contract with the London Metro Police, which could spark "broader adoption in northern Europe." The security -- which last month announced a partnership with Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) -- has lost more than 30% of its value so far this year, and yesterday touched an annual low of $16.74. It also recently reported a third-quarter earnings miss. More than a quarter of TASER International, Inc.'s float is sold short, which would take more than a week to buy back, at TASR's average pace of trading. In the options pits, the stock has racked up a 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.77 on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) -- 1 percentage point shy of an annual high.

For other stocks in analysts' crosshairs, read Analyst Upgrades: Apple Inc., Kite Pharma Inc, and Biomarin Pharmaceutical Inc. and Analyst Downgrades: GoPro Inc, Diana Shipping Inc., and Seattle Genetics, Inc.

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