Analyst Upgrades: Valeant, Facebook, JPMorgan Chase

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on biotech Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (VRX), social media stock Facebook Inc (FB), and finance giant JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)

Jan 11, 2017 at 9:52 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on biotech Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX), social media stock Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), and finance giant JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on VRX, FB, and JPM. 

  • VRX is up 0.2% at $16.43, following a price-target hike to $19 from $17 by Canaccord Genuity, which said VRX "has taken significant steps towards de-levering its balance sheet," with the divestiture of several brands for about $2.1 billion. The struggling pharmaceutical stock is down more than 80% year-over-year, but yesterday shares managed to close above their 50-day moving average for the first time since September. Option buyers have been betting on more upside for Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc shares, with nearly three calls bought to open for every put option during the last 10 days at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). The resulting 10-day call/put volume ratio of 2.91 is higher than 91% of all other readings from the past year, pointing to a healthier-than-usual appetite for bullish bets.

  • FB is fractionally higher at $124.41, after being named the No. 1 pick on J.P. Morgan Securities' U.S. Focus List, edging out rumored acquisition target Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX). In addition, Credit Suisse reiterated its "outperform" rating on FB, and said "now is the time to accumulate" the shares (subscription required), though it also lowered its price target to $165 from $170. Facebook Inc shares have added more than 8% already in 2017, but could struggle to topple $126 -- where the stock was trading prior to a bear gap in early November. In the option pits, near-term FB players are more put-skewed than usual, with FB's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.70 sitting in the 82nd percentile of its annual range.

  • JPM is up 0.1% at $86.50, on news that it will be partnering with Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) to launch a credit card for Amazon Prime members. JPM also enjoyed a pair of price-target hikes from UBS and Citigroup, to $98 and $85, respectively. The bank stock has been on a steady trek higher since the "Brexit" backlash in late June, tacking on more than 50%, and touching a new record high of $87.76 earlier this month. In the option pits, JPM's SOIR of 2.28 sits higher than 98% of all other readings from the last 12 months, indicating near-term option players are much more put-heavy than usual ahead of the company's turn in the earnings confessional on Friday.
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