Analyst Update: Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, and Vitae Pharmaceuticals Inc

Analysts adjusted their ratings and price targets on Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALXN), Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (VRTX), and Vitae Pharmaceuticals Inc (VTAE)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Mar 18, 2016 at 2:32 PM

Analysts are weighing in on drugmakers Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALXN), Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX), and Vitae Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:VTAE). Here's a quick roundup of today's brokerage notes on ALXN, VRTX, and VTAE.

  • ALXN saw its price target trimmed to $216 from $217 at Leerink, but is 0.7% higher at $128.82 amid broad-market tailwinds. However, the stock is a long-term laggard, and just yesterday notched a two-year low of $124.16. More bearish brokerage attention could come down the pike if Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. fails to turn things around. After all, 14 of 18 brokerages rate the stock a "buy" or better, with not a single "sell" opinion in sight. Plus, ALXN's average 12-month price target of $200.26 represents a 55.5% premium to current levels.
  • VRTX is up 3.8% at $82.21, despite a price-target cut to $135 from $145 at RBC. It hasn't been this pretty for all of 2016, as the shares have surrendered over 34% of their value year-to-date. Traders at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) have been rolling the dice on extended losses in recent months. Specifically, lightly traded Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 2.44 sits just 6 percentage points from a 12-month peak.
  • Rounding things out, VTAE has surged 5.7% to trade at $7.18, boosted by a price-target hike to $23 from $20 at Wedbush -- territory not charted since December 2014. In fact, the stock is on track to close above its 20-day moving average for the first time since gapping lower earlier this month on a poorly received quarterly earnings report. This represents quite a comeback for Vitae Pharmaceuticals Inc, which hit a record low earlier this week. While shareholders may be happy with the rebound, short sellers probably aren't. Over 15% of VTAE's float is sold short, representing nearly four weeks' worth of trading activity, at its average trading volume.
For other stocks in analysts' crosshairs, read Analyst Upgrades: Adobe Systems Incorporated, Chevron Corporation, and Wynn Resorts, Limited and Analyst Downgrades: Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl  Inc, Micron Technology, Inc., and PayPal Holdings Inc.

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