Analyst Upgrades: Alkermes Plc, Chesapeake Energy Corporation, and Paypal Holdings Inc

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Alkermes Plc (ALKS), Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK), and Paypal Holdings Inc (PYPL)

Oct 21, 2016 at 9:38 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on biotech Alkermes Plc (NASDAQ:ALKS), natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK), and digital payments stock Paypal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PYPL). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on ALKS, CHK, and PYPL.

  • ALKS has surged 34.7% to trade at $58.60 -- its highest perch since January -- after positive top-line results for its depression drug prompted a series of bullish brokerage notes. For example, Barclays assumed coverage with an "overweight" opinion, while J.P. Morgan Securities raised its rating to the same, and was one of at least six analysts to up its price target. From the looks of it, a bunch of ex-short sellers dodged a major bullet. During the most recent reporting period, short interest on Alkermes Plc plummeted almost 18% -- though it would still take a week to buy back the remaining short positions, based on the stock's average trading rate.
  • Nomura and BofA-Merrill Lynch boosted their opinions on CHK to "neutral," and lifted their respective price targets to $7.50 and $10 -- the latter in annual-high territory -- a day after the company found a huge oil field near the West Virginia-Kentucky border. Additional price-target hikes came courtesy of Jefferies and UBS, as well as Deutsche Bank, which said, "The asset base has significantly improved its capital efficiency and productivity ... that should provide improved visibility in achieving the multi-year targets." Out of the gate, Chesapeake Energy Corporation is up 1.3% at $7.00, and has tacked on 55.6% year-to-date, assisted by a key moving average. Further upgrades could be ahead, too, adding to the stock's bullish prospects. After all, 80% of covering analysts still consider CHK a "hold" or worse.
  • PYPL is fresh off a strong earnings report, winning the stock applause on the Street. Stifel raised its rating on the stock to "buy" from "hold," and was one of at least 10 analysts to boost their price targets on the shares -- though Barclays trimmed its target price by $1 to $46, still in record territory. This morning, Paypal Holdings Inc has jumped 4.7% to trade at $42.59 -- and earlier tapped a new all-time high of $42.94 -- bringing its 2016 lead to a market-beating 17%. More upside could result if bearish options traders start hitting the bricks. Specifically, PYPL sports a 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 1.82 -- just 6 percentage points from a 52-week peak.
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