Analyst Upgrades: Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Jazz Pharmaceuticals

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (CLF), Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc (ICPT), and Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc - Ordinary Shares (JAZZ)

May 31, 2016 at 9:22 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on mining stock Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE:CLF), as well as biotechs Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ICPT) and Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc - Ordinary Shares (NASDAQ:JAZZ). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on CLF, ICPT, and JAZZ.

  • CLF is pointed 16.6% higher pre-market, after J.P. Morgan Securities boosted its rating to "overweight" from "neutral," and reinstated its price target of $7, citing the miner's near-term earnings growth potential due to higher steel prices. Also fanning the stock's bullish flames, the company entered into a long-term iron ore supply agreement with ArcelorMittal. Taking a step back, today's upbeat analyst attention is rare for Cliffs Natural Resources Inc, as all nine brokerage firms tracking the shares have designated them a "hold" or worse. Additional upgrades are a possibility, with CLF close to doubling in value year-to-date, closing Friday at $3.07.

  • ICPT got a double-dose of positive attention, as Cowen raised its price target to $215 from $212 and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave a thumbs up to the pharmaceutical firm's chronic liver disesase treatment, Ocaliva. More details are forthcoming, as Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc is currently holding a corporate call on the drug approval. However, the stock is edging lower ahead of the open, after closing Friday at $141.77 -- down 5% year-to-date. If ICPT manages to turn higher amid today's news, short sellers could be in a tough spot. Nearly one-fifth of the stock's float is sold short, which would take nearly nine sessions to cover, at Intercept's typical trading volume.

  • JAZZ is off 1.4% ahead of the bell, after the drug firm agreed to acquire Celator Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CPXX) for $1.5 billion in cash. However, the announcement is being cheered on Wall Street, where Guggenheim lifted its price target to $200 from $175. Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc ended last week at $152.09 and has had a strong quarter -- up 16.5% since the end of March. However, the shares have been struggling to take out their descending 320-day moving average. Traders at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) have high hopes. During the last two weeks, they've bought to open 7.31 calls for every put -- a ratio that ranks in the 90th annual percentile.
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