Analyst Upgrades: Intel Corporation, Gilead Sciences, Inc., and Applied Materials, Inc.

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Intel Corporation (INTC), Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD), and Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT)

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Sep 6, 2016 at 9:29 AM

Analysts are weighing in on Dow component Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), biotech stock Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), and semiconductor concern Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on INTC, GILD, and AMAT.

  • INTC is set to add 1% at the open after Evercore ISI upgraded its rating on the stock to a "buy" and raised its price target to $45 -- 15-year-high territory. Baird also weighed in on the blue chip, increasing its price target by $2 to $40. Intel Corporation finished Friday at $36.08, sitting on a 22% year-over-year gain, and also touched an annual high. Separately, the firm announced earlier it will acquire chipmaker Movidius for an undisclosed sum. INTC shares could continue to get a boost as short sellers keep backing off. These bearish bets fell by nearly 12% during the two most recent reporting periods, but still represent nearly four sessions' worth of trading, at INTC's average daily volume.
  • An upgrade to "buy" at Jefferies has GILD up 1.2% ahead of the bell. The shares closed at $76.89 on Friday after tapping a two-year low of $76.67 during the session, and are down 24% in 2016. Short interest on Gilead Sciences, Inc. has continued to decline in recent weeks -- likely a result of bears collecting profits -- but options traders have been targeting puts more than usual. Specifically, the stock's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.48 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) ranks higher than 81% of the past year's readings. 
  • AMAT is up 0.6% in electronic trading after Susquehanna raised its price target on the stock to $25 from $23 -- still a hefty discount to Applied Materials, Inc.'s Friday close at $30.02. This lackluster outlook is surprising, given that the shares have added nearly 61% year-to-date, hitting a 15-year peak on Friday, and have outperformed the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by roughly 20 percentage points over the last three months. Elsewhere, however, analysts are mostly optimistic toward the stock. Of the 17 brokerage firms tracking AMAT, 14 rate it a "buy" or better.
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