Analyst Update: Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc, Scotts Miracle-Gro Co, and Metlife Inc

Analysts revised their ratings and price targets on Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (REGN), Scotts Miracle-Gro Co (SMG), and Metlife Inc (MET)

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Aug 4, 2016 at 3:05 PM

Analysts are weighing in on biotech stock Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:REGN), lawn care specialist Scotts Miracle-Gro Co (NYSE:SMG), and insurance issue Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET)Here's a quick roundup of today's brokerage notes on REGN, SMG, and MET.  

  • REGN posted weaker-than-expected second-quarter revenue, as well as its slowest sales growth in eight quarters. The stock is down 2.6% at $429.70 today, even after Jefferies and Piper Jaffray both raised their price targets on the stock, to $436 and $447, respectively. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc has rocketed more than 20% higher in the past month, and just yesterday topped its 200-day moving average for the first time in 2016. Options traders have maintained an upbeat outlook on the stock, which has historically outperformed in the second half. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), REGN's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 2.09 sits higher than 88% of the past year's readings.
  • SMG is 2% higher at $79.56 -- fresh off a record high of $80.14 -- extending yesterday's rally, which stemmed from a fiscal third-quarter earnings beat and a Zika-related lift for insecticide makers. J.P. Morgan Securities today awarded an upgrade to "overweight" from "neutral," and a price-target hike to $85 from $70 -- representing never-before-seen territory for the shares. Year-over-year, Scotts Miracle-Gro Co has already added 22%, but the stock could stand to benefit further from a unwinding of bearish sentiment. Among the seven brokerage firms following SMG, only two recommend buying the shares, leaving the door wide open for future upgrades. Plus, short interest on the equity has been creeping higher, climbing nearly 22% during the two most recent reporting periods.
  • MET's second-quarter earnings fell short of expectations, with post-"Brexit" low interest rates weighing on profits, leading RBC to cut its price target on the stock to $53 from $56. The shares have sunk 9.5% to $39.20 as a result -- marking the fifth straight post-earnings drop -- but more negative analyst attention could easily come MET's way. At the moment, 73% of the brokerages tracking the stock maintain a "buy" or better rating, without a "sell" on the books. More evidence that downgrades may be overdue: Metlife Inc's 29% year-over-year decline, with its 200-day moving average pressuring the shares lower since last August.
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