Analyst Upgrades: eBay Inc, Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc, and Portola Pharmaceuticals Inc

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on eBay Inc (EBAY), Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc (IONS), and Portola Pharmaceuticals Inc (PTLA)

Dec 27, 2016 at 9:24 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on internet auction site eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY), as well as drug stocks Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:IONS) and Portola Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:PTLA). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on EBAY, IONS, and PTLA.

  • Baird reiterated its upbeat "outperform" rating on EBAY, as well as its $35 price target -- record-high territory for the shares. That said, the stock has slightly lagged the broader market this year, tacking on roughly 8% in 2016, at $29.79. Plus, as of yet, the shares have failed to close their October post-earnings bear gap. Despite this morning's bullish reiteration, the brokerage community has been largely unimpressed. At present, 15 out of 22 analysts rate eBay Inc a "hold" or worse.

  • IONS received price-target hikes from Leerink and Janney -- to $47 and $54, respectively -- after the company's spinal muscular atrophy treatment, developed jointly with Biogen Inc (NASDAQ:BIIB), was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The news has Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc set to open 6.7% higher, but the shares are sitting on a 13.8% year-to-date deficit, at $53.41. Options traders have been betting against the stock, with IONS holding a 50-day put/call volume ratio of 1.38 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) -- higher than 96% of the past year's readings.

  • PTLA is up 0.4% ahead of the bell, after Credit Suisse raised its price target on the stock to $29 from $20, representing a level the shares haven't seen on a closing basis since March. Likely prompting the upbeat note was Friday's news that the FDA granted priority review to the company's blood clot prevention drug, betrixaban -- which helped Portola Pharmaceuticals Inc tack on nearly 34% during the session. But PTLA has had a dismal year so far, shedding over half of its value, at $25.06, and short sellers have been piling on in recent weeks. Specifically, these bearish bets rose by 22.9% during the two most recent reporting periods, and now account for 15.6% of PTLA's available float, or roughly two weeks' worth of buying power, at the stock's typical daily volumes.
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