Analyst Upgrades: Costco Wholesale Corporation, Whole Foods Market, Inc., and Sarepta Therapeutics Inc

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST), Whole Foods Market, Inc. (WFM), and Sarepta Therapeutics Inc (SRPT)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Jun 1, 2016 at 10:10 AM

Analysts are weighing in on retailers Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) and Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM), as well as biotech stock Sarepta Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:SRPT). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on COST, WFM, and SRPT.

  • COST is 2.3% higher out of the gate at $152.14, after Goldman Sachs raised its rating to "buy" and its price target to $175 -- all-time-high territory for the stock. The shares have rallied sharply off their most recent low of $138.57 in mid-May, and are now testing resistance at their 200-day moving average. Meanwhile, at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), put buying has reached an annual extreme in recent months. Specifically, Costco Wholesale Corporation's 50-day put/call volume ratio sits at a 12-month high of 1.24. Likewise, COST's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.44 ranks in the 100th percentile of its annual range.

  • WFM has soared 4.8% at $33.90, following an upgrade to "outperform" at Credit Suisse -- which also lifted its price target to $40 from $30. In its note, the brokerage firm said, "Initiatives to cut prices and costs, sell more private branded foods and improve marketing, and launch of new smaller stores that offer lower cost products will help company return to growth." Currently, Whole Foods Market, Inc. shares are on track for their highest close since March 9. Short sellers could be spooked, too. After all, 13% of the stock's float is sold short, representing one week's worth of pent-up buying activity, at WFM's typical trading levels.

  • Wedbush bumped its price target on SRPT up to $23 from $14, but the stock is down 1.1% at $20.70 -- and testing its 120-day moving average for the fourth time in five sessions. Option bears and short sellers alike are hoping for a breach of this trendline. After all, Sarepta Therapeutics Inc's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 0.57 ranks in the bearishly skewed 97th annual percentile. Meanwhile, almost 63% of the stock's float is sold short, after jumping 14.2% during the most recent reporting period. On the charts, though, SRPT has been trekking higher of late, thanks in large part to a May 25 bull gap.
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