Analyst Upgrades: Horizon Pharma PLC, Panera Bread Co, and Microsoft Corporation

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Horizon Pharma PLC (NASDAQ:HZNP), Panera Bread Co (NASDAQ:PNRA), and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)

by Josh Selway

Published on Nov 23, 2015 at 10:09 AM

Analysts are weighing in on drugmaker Horizon Pharma PLC (NASDAQ:HZNP), restaurant chain Panera Bread Co (NASDAQ:PNRA), and tech giant Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on HZNP, PNRA, and MSFT.

  • After last week withdrawing its offer to buy a sector peerHZNP is starting the week off on a high note, adding 4.1% at $21.11, after Jefferies reinstated coverage with a "buy" recommendation and a $32 price target. This only reflects the general outlook from the Street, where nearly 88% of analysts say Horizon Pharma PLC is a "buy" or better. However, the recent batch of put buyers can't be happy. During the past 10 days at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), HZNP has accumulated a put/call volume ratio of exactly 1.00, which is higher than 86% of all readings from the past year. In other words, there's been a greater-than-usual interest in the stock's puts. 
  • PNRA is up 2.9% at $177.61, following an upgrade to "buy" from "hold" at Maxim, which also raised its price target to $210 from $208. The stock needed a lift after underperforming the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by almost 18 percentage points during the past two months. Even so, short-term options traders remain unusually call-skewed toward Panera Bread Co. This is evidenced by its Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.83, which is lower than three-fourths of readings from the past year. 
  • MSFT is fractionally higher this morning at $54.23, following price-target hikes at Pacific Crest ($65) and Nomura ($60). Both of these marks represent all-time-high territory. The security has been churning between $52 and $55 since its late-October bull gap, but option traders are betting on a breakout. Microsoft Corporation's 50-day call/put volume ratio at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX stands at 2.85 -- only 2 percentage points from an annual bullish extreme. 
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