Analyst Upgrades: Aratana Therapeutics, Palo Alto Networks

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Aratana Therapeutics Inc (PETX), Oracle Corporation (ORCL), and Palo Alto Networks Inc (PANW)

Apr 26, 2016 at 10:08 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on pet pharmaceutical firm Aratana Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:PETX), software producer Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL), and cybersecurity stock Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on PETX, ORCL, and PANW.
  • PETX is up 0.3% at $6.93, after Craig-Hallum raised its price target to $9. This comes after Aratana Therapeutics Inc announced Monday that it has entered a licensing agreement with the animal health unit of drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co (NYSE:LLY). PETX has been in a steady uptrend since mid-February, now up 24.2% year-to-date. Five out of six analysts give the equity a "strong buy" rating, but short interest is high. In fact, these bearish bets have risen by nearly 20% during the last two reporting periods, and now account for 17% of PETX's available float. Looking ahead, the company is slated to report first-quarter earnings next Thursday.
  • Macquarie initiated coverage on ORCL with an "outperform" rating, though the shares are so far flat at $40.78. More upgrades could be on the way, too, since nearly half of covering analysts maintain a "hold" or worse recommendation on Oracle Corporation. This bearish outlook comes despite the fact the stock has outperformed the broader S&P 500 (SPX) over the past three months, and is up 11.6% year-to-date, enjoying support from its 80-week moving average. The equity could benefit from a capitulation of bearish sentiment in the options crowd, as well. With a Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.33 -- higher than 95% of all readings in the past year -- near-term options traders are unusually put-skewed at the moment.
  • An upgrade to "buy" at Wunderlich has PANW sitting 1.1% higher at $152.22 this morning, paring its year-to-date loss to 13.6%. Palo Alto Networks Inc -- which was just named the best place to work in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Business Times and Silicon Valley Business Journal -- has seen bullish sentiment from analysts and option traders alike. At the moment, 89% of brokerage firms providing coverage recommend buying the stock, without a "sell" rating in sight. And at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the security's 50-day call/put volume ratio of 1.28 sits in the 82nd percentile of its annual range.
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