Analyst Upgrades: IBM, Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Panera Bread

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:PCRX), and Panera Bread Co (NASDAQ:PNRA)

Apr 19, 2016 at 9:50 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on tech stock International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), drugmaker Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:PCRX), and restaurant stock Panera Bread Co (NASDAQ:PNRA). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on IBM, PCRX, and PNRA.
  • IBM reported its worst revenue in 14 years -- marking a 16th consecutive quarterly decline in sales -- though Big Blue's earnings topped estimates. The stock was last seen 4.2% lower at $146.19, on pace for its seventh straight post-earnings sell-off. Still, International Business Machines Corp. holds a 6% year-to-date lead, and analysts are actually raising their expectations. For example, no fewer than four brokerage firms upped their price targets on IBM this morning, with Independent Research setting the bar the highest at $165. And theoretically, the stock could see additional price-target increases, since it's still trading above its consensus 12-month price target of $141.09. 

  • At $65.02, PCRX is up 1.7%, after the company announced Charles Reinhart, III, will take over as its chief financial office. The stock is benefiting from a fresh "buy" rating at Mizuho, which set its price target at $79. Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc started 2016 on the wrong foot, but since flirting with the $45 area in mid-March, has gained 44.5%. Short sellers are hoping this technical success ends soon. PCRX's short-interest ratio stands at 10.20, as more than one-fifth of its float is sold short. 

  • PNRA is up 2.7% this morning at $217, closing in on its all-time high of $220.44 from March, after another round of bullish attention from the Street. Specifically, KeyBanc raised its outlook to "overweight," while Jefferies upgraded PNRA's rating to "buy" from "hold," and boosted its price target to $245 from $195. Following this morning's bullish gap, Panera Bread Co is now situated well above the recently supportive $205 level and its rising 50-day moving average, and could continue to rally if short sellers keep covering their positions. Short interest declined during the past two reporting periods, but at the stock's average daily trading volumes, it'd still take PNRA shorts more than six days to buy back their shares. Looking ahead, the restaurant chain will report earnings one week from tonight.
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