Analyst Update: Spark Therapeutics Inc, Cempra Inc, and Medivation Inc

Analysts revised their ratings and price targets on Spark Therapeutics Inc (ONCE), Cempra Inc (CEMP), and Medivation Inc (MDVN)

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Jul 12, 2016 at 1:02 PM

Analysts are weighing in on gene therapy specialist Spark Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ONCE), as well as pharmaceutical stocks Cempra Inc (NASDAQ:CEMP) and Medivation Inc (NASDAQ:MDVN)Here's a quick roundup of today's brokerage notes on ONCE, CEMP, and MDVN.

  • ONCE is trading 6.7% higher at $58.11 after RBC initiated coverage on the stock with an "outperform" rating and lofty $70 price target -- representing a level the shares haven't seen in nearly a year. Analysts at RBC noted that Spark's clinical pipeline "is now getting very interesting for investors." Spark Therpeutics Inc has added more than 28% so far in 2016, and most analysts already have an upbeat outlook, with more than half of those following the stock handing out a "strong buy" recommendation. But it looks like doubt may be building among traders, as short interest on the stock has surged roughly 41% during the past two reporting periods, and now accounts for 13% of ONCE's available float.
  • CEMP is up 4.9% at $18.94, paring its year-over-year losses to 47.6%, after J.P. Morgan Securities started covering the stock with an "overweight" rating and $31 price target -- a roughly 64% premium over today's value. This is just more of the same for Cempra Inc, which boasts nine "buy" or better ratings, versus just two "holds" and not a single "sell" from analysts. While the shares have been marching higher over the last couple of weeks, CEMP is staring up at its 150-day moving average today -- a trendline it hasn’t topped on a closing basis since last September. And pessimism appears high among traders, as the 18.8% of CEMP's total float sold short would take more than 12 sessions to cover, at the stock's average daily volume.
  • MDVN is up just 0.2% at $62.38 after Wedbush increased its price target on the stock to $66 from $63. The shares hit an annual high of $62.98 last Thursday, with recent buyout buzz keeping traders intrigued, and it looks like the shares may have found a new foothold at the $62 level. While Medivation Inc options have been trading at a lighter-than-usual volume lately, calls have been the options of choice. In fact, traders have purchased more than four MDVN calls for each put over the last 10 days on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX).

For other stocks in analysts' crosshairs, read Analyst Upgrades: Cliffs Natural Resources Inc, Hecla Mining Company, and Seagate Technology PLC and Analyst Downgrades: Citigroup Inc, Imperva Inc, and Netflix, Inc.

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