Analyst Upgrades: Microsoft Corporation, Nike Inc, and Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), Nike Inc (NKE), and Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (AEGR)

Dec 21, 2015 at 9:18 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on tech blue chip Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), athletic retailer Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE), and biotech interest Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AEGR). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on MSFT, NKE, and AEGR.

  • MSFT is pointed 1.3% higher ahead of the bell, after closing at $54.13 on Friday, thanks to an optimistic article in Barron's (subscription required) suggesting the stock could add another 30% over the next year and a half. This boost for Microsoft Corporation -- which has risen 16.5% in 2015 -- comes just days after Goldman Sachs changed its opinion on the stock. Currently, 71% of analysts following MSFT give it a "buy" rating or better, and options traders have been extremely bullish. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the stock's 50-day call/put volume ratio is 3.37 -- just 1 percentage point shy of an annual high.
  • NKE is set to add 0.8% this morning, after Canaccord Genuity raised its price target on the stock to $132 from $123, and said it expects a per-share earnings beat tomorrow. Nike Inc has already added nearly 34% so far this year, and hit an all-time high of $135.30 in late November. Analysts' consensus 12-month price target sits even higher at $143.18, with 20 out of 24 brokerages maintaining a "buy" rating. Near-term options traders have recently been favoring puts, however, as NKE holds a Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.44 -- higher than three-fourths of comparable readings from the past year, indicating a stronger-than-usual preference for puts over calls among options expiring in the next three months. Nike Inc closed at $128.52 on Friday.
  • AEGR is poised to pop 8.6% over its Friday close of $9.01, after Guggenheim upped its price target to $13 from $7, and raised its rating to "buy" from "sell." The analysts waxed optimistic on AEGR's recent management changes -- just one catalyst in "a constellation of factors" for the about-face. Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has shed nearly 60% on the charts this year, hitting an all-time low of $8.68 last Monday. Currently, short interest accounts for more than half of the stock's total available float. At AEGR's average daily volumes, it would take more than 12 days for bears to cover these positions. And options traders have been pessimistic, too. On the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX, the stock has racked up a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 5.18 -- indicating more than five puts bought for each call over the past two weeks -- a reading in the 96th percentile for the past year.
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