Analyst Upgrades: Illumina, Inc., Barracuda Networks Inc, and Freeport-McMoRan Inc

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on genetic analysis expert Illumina, Inc. (ILMN), cybersecurity specialist Barracuda Networks Inc (CUDA), and mining stock Freeport-McMoRan Inc (FCX)

by Celeste Taylor

Published on Jan 10, 2017 at 9:39 AM

Analysts are weighing in on genetic analysis expert Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ:ILMN), cybersecurity specialist Barracuda Networks Inc (NYSE:CUDA), and mining stock Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on ILMN, CUDA, and FCX.

  • ILMN is up 16.6% at $165.07, following an upbeat earnings forecast and news it will launch a new genetic sequencing platform, NovaSeq. The genetic analysis stock received an upgrade to "buy" from "neutral" from BofA-Merrill Lynch, which also hiked its price target to $175 from $145. Barclays and Leerink also raised their price targets to $145 and $132, respectively. ILMN has now added more than 33% in the past month, but still has a ways to go before closing its guidance-induced October bear gap. Option players have been especially bullish towards the stock in recent months. Illumina, Inc.'s 50-day call/put volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows nearly three calls bought to open for every put over the last 10 weeks -- a reading that sits just 4 percentage points from an annual peak.

  • CUDA is up 5.2% at $25.00, after delivering a quarterly earnings win. The stock has since been awarded a round of bullish analyst attention, with D.A. Davidson upgrading CUDA to "neutral" from "underperform," while issuing a price-target hike to $25. Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan Securities also issued price-target hikes to $25 and $33, respectively. Barracuda Networks Inc's shares finally notched a close above their 50-day moving average yesterday, and now boast a year-to-date lead of roughly 17%. In the option pits, near-term traders have been more put-skewed than usual, with CUDA's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.12 sitting in the top quartile of its annual range. 

  • FCX is up 5.7% at $15.552, following a price-target hike to $14 from $11 by Barclays. The mining stock is up more than 260% over the last 12 months, recently supported by its 50-day moving average. Despite today's bullish analyst attention, many of the brokerage firms weighing in seem lukewarm toward Freeport-McMoRan Inc shares, with 12 of 16 rating them a "hold" or worse. A round of upgrades could act as tailwinds for the outperforming mining issue.
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