Analyst Update: Casey's General Stores Inc, Gilead Sciences, Inc., and PulteGroup, Inc.

Analysts adjusted their ratings and price targets on Casey's General Stores Inc (CASY), Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD), and PulteGroup, Inc. (PHM)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Mar 16, 2016 at 1:53 PM

Analysts are weighing in on retail stock Casey's General Stores Inc (NASDAQ:CASY), drugmaker Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), and home builder PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE:PHM). Here's a quick roundup of today's brokerage notes on CASY, GILD, and PHM.

  • CASY has edged 0.4% higher at $106.60, after Goldman Sachs bumped its price target up to $115 from $112. The stock could use the boost, as it's been stair-stepping its way lower since its mid-December record high of $129.53. It looks like option traders have been betting on a breakout for Casey's General Stores Inc in recent weeks. During the last 10 days at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), 4.14 CASY calls have been bought to open for every put.
  • GILD has been hit with yet more negative analyst attention -- this time from Leerink, which trimmed its price target to $127 from $130. However, unlike some other drugmakers, Gilead Sciences, Inc. is trading higher, up 0.3% at $89.70. Wall Street is divided on the stock, which has been consolidating in the $87-$91 range for the past month. On the one hand, 12 of 17 brokerage firms rate the shares a "buy" or better, with not a single "sell" opinion in sight. On the other, short interest exploded 70% during the past two reporting periods to 36.3 million shares -- three times GILD's average daily trading volume.
  • PHM is down 2.5% at $17.80, after being downgraded to "underperform" from "neutral" at BofA-Merrill Lynch. Longer term, though, the stock has been on the up and up since bottoming in late January at $14.61, advancing 21.8%. Option traders have been piling into PulteGroup, Inc.'s bullish corner over the past few months. The stock's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio registers at 3.05, outstripping 85% of all other readings taken in the prior year.
For other stocks in analysts' crosshairs, read Analyst Upgrades: Monster Beverage Corporation, Childrens Place Inc, and Oracle Corporation and Analyst Downgrades: Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., LinkedIn Corp, and Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc.

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