Analyst Upgrades: Twilio Inc, Merck & Co., Inc., and United Continental Holdings Inc

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on cloud company Twilio Inc (TWLO), drugmaker Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK), and airline stock United Continental Holdings Inc (UAL)

Jan 12, 2017 at 9:55 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on cloud company Twilio Inc (NYSE:TWLO), drugmaker Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), and airline stock United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL). Here's a quick look at today's bullish brokerage notes on TWLO, MRK, and UAL.

  • TWLO is up 0.2% at $28, after a round of bullish analyst attention. Summit Redstone started coverage of TWLO with a "buy" rating and $36 price target, while one Oppenheimer analyst reiterated TWLO's "outperform" rating, and named TWLO one of the top stock picks for 2017. TWLO is 88% higher than its June initial public offering (IPO) price of $15, and additional upgrades could push the shares even higher, with almost half of the analysts weighing in rating Twilio Inc shares a tepid "hold."

  • MRK is up 2.2% at $62.98, as analysts continue to applaud yesterday's lung cancer treatment victory. Morgan Stanley raised its rating on the shares to "overweight" from "equal weight," while also hiking its price target to $71 from $65. Meanwhile, Piper Jaffray also upgraded MRK shares to "overweight," and raised its price target to $72 from $63 -- territory not charted since 2001. In addition, Guggenheim raised its rating on the shares to "buy" from "neutral." Up more than 28% since their February lows, Merck & Co., Inc. shares notched a 14-year high in November, and more recently bounced off support near the $58.50 level. In the option pits, MRK's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.94 sits higher than 92% of all other readings from the past 12 months, indicating a definitive put-skew among near-term traders. As these positions begin to unwind, it could create tailwinds to lift MRK to new highs.

  • UAL is down 0.4% at $74.75, after the company announced plans to cut some management positions as part of a broader restructuring sweep. On the analyst front, UAL scored price-target hikes from Raymond James and Imperial Capital, to $84 and to $82, respectively, a day after the airline issue offered an upbeat fourth-quarter updated, and ahead of earnings next week. UAL has been taking flight over the last several months, nearly doubling since its June lows, and with the shares recently enjoying support from their 40-day moving average. In the option pits, bearish betting has ramped up in recent weeks, with UAL's 50-day put/call volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) of 1.30 sitting higher than 94% of all other readings from the past year.
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