Analyst Update: Apple, Valeant Pharma, and 3D Systems

Analysts adjusted their ratings on Apple Inc. (AAPL), Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (VRX), and 3D Systems Corporation (DDD)

Dec 17, 2015 at 1:58 PM
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Analysts are weighing in today on tech giant Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX), and 3-D printing company 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD). Here's a quick roundup of today's brokerage notes on AAPL, VRX, and DDD.

  • AAPL is trading 1.1% lower at $110.10 today -- and is now in the red for 2015 -- on another round of bearish analyst attention. Late last night, RBC cut its price target on Apple Inc. by $10 to $140, amid growing concerns about 2016 iPhone sales. Meanwhile, the company announced that Jeff Williams has been named the new chief operating officer. AAPL has been without a COO since Tim Cook became chief executive in 2011. The stock has been plagued by negative sentiment lately, and today is no exception. It currently holds a Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.82 -- higher than nearly three-fourths of readings from the past year, indicating an unusually heavy preference for puts among options expiring in the next three months.

  • VRX is down 4.2% at $113.44 on a fresh batch of analyst downgrades. Since revising its 2015 and 2016 forecasts on Wednesday, Mizuho lowered its rating on Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc to "neutral" from "buy," while also raising its price target to $130 from $111. Meanwhile, Piper Jaffray, J.P. Morgan, and TD Securities all slashed their price targets to $133, $200, and $155, respectively. Still, VRX is up 26% in December, recovering 63% since hitting a multi-year low of $69.33 in mid-November. Options traders are still placing bullish bets, too. While the stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) slid slightly lower to 2.5 today, from 3.5 on Wednesday, this value still sits higher than 86% of readings from the last 12 months.

  • DDD is 8.2% higher at $10.22, after receiving an upgrade to "overweight" from "equal weight" at Stephens. The stock has been trending higher since hitting a four-year low of $8.44 in mid-November, and is on pace for its first weekly finish in double-digit territory in six weeks. After 3D Systems Corporation last reported quarterly earnings, options bears fled the scene, though nearly 32% of the stock's total float is still sold short -- accounting for more than 13 days of trading, at the equity's typical volumes. DDD currently has a SOIR of 0.78 -- lower than 97% of readings from the past year, indicating that short-term options traders have lately been showing an extreme preference for calls over puts.
For other stocks in analysts' crosshairs, read Analyst Upgrades: Pandora Media Inc, Relypsa Inc, and Sunrun Inc and Analyst Downgrades: Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc, Oracle Corporation, and Pier 1 Imports Inc.

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