Analyst Upgrades: Apple Inc., Jabil Circuit, Inc., and Horizon Pharma PLC

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Apple Inc. (AAPL), Jabil Circuit, Inc. (JBL), and Horizon Pharma PLC (HZNP)

by Kirra Fedyszyn |

Published on Dec 16, 2016 at 9:28 AM

Analysts are weighing in on tech giant Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Apple supplier Jabil Circuit, Inc. (NYSE:JBL), and drug stock Horizon Pharma PLC (NASDAQ:HZNP). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on AAPL, JBL, and HZNP.

  • AAPL is enjoying a second straight day of upbeat analyst attention, this time as Piper Jaffray initiated coverage with an "overweight" rating and a lofty $155 price target -- well into record-high territory. The stock is up 0.4% ahead of the bell, after finishing Thursday at $115.82, but the overhead $116 level could continue to cause trouble. And while analysts keep jumping on Apple Inc.'s bullish bandwagon, a rush of pessimism has been spotted elsewhere -- with short interest on the equity soaring by nearly 33% during the most recent reporting period. Still, just 1.1% of AAPL's total float is sold short, leaving plenty of room for more bears to pile on.

  • JBL is set to pop 10.3% at the open after the company’s fiscal first-quarter earnings and revenue beat estimates on the Street, and guidance came in higher than expected. As a result, J.P. Morgan Securities, Deutsche Bank, RBC, and UBS each raised its price target on the stock, with the latter setting the highest target, at $28 -- territory not explored in roughly a decade. Should this morning's gains materialize, Jabil Circuit, Inc. -- down 7.4% this year at $21.57 -- could finally break out of the sideways pattern it's been stuck in since late September, and begin testing long-term resistance in the $23-$26 region. Not to mention, the shares could finish in positive year-to-date territory for just the second time in 2016. In the options pits, near-term traders have been unusually put-skewed toward JBL, per the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.94 -- higher than 86% of the past year's readings.

  • HZNP is up 8.8% in pre-market trading, following an upgrade to "buy" from "neutral" at Mizuho, which also raised its price target to $25 from $14 -- essentially reversing the move it made just one week ago. Also boosting the shares ahead of the open is news Horizon Pharma PLC has entered into a rebate agreement with Express Scripts Holding Company (NASDAQ:ESRX). At $14.93, HZNP is sitting on a painful 31% year-to-date deficit, so it's no surprise traders have been betting against the stock. In fact short interest on HZNP -- despite dropping more than 10% during the last reporting period -- accounts for 9.7% of the security's available float. Moreover, these bearish bets would take over a week to cover, at HZNP's typical daily pace.
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