VMW, EXAS, AVGO Stocks Upgraded Today

EXACT Sciences received a pair of price-target hikes after UNH said it would cover Cologuard

May 31, 2017 at 9:27 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on virtualization technology name VMware, Inc. (NYSE:VMW), molecular diagnostics firm EXACT Sciences Corporation (NASDAQ:EXAS), and chip stock Broadcom Ltd (NASDAQ:AVGO). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on shares of VMW, EXAS, and AVGO.

VMW Stock Upgraded on Bullish Cloud Expectations

VMware stock was upgraded to "outperform" from "neutral" at Baird, which also lifted its price target to $115 from $90 -- territory not seen since April 2012 -- on optimism over the company's venture into the cloud. In response, VMW stock is set to open the session up 2% at a new record high. This would just be more of the same for VMware shares, which have surged nearly 23% year-to-date, and hit an all-time peak of $97.78 yesterday before settling at $96.74. More upgrades could come down the pike, too, especially if VMware earnings impress tomorrow night. The majority of analysts still maintain a tepid "hold" rating toward the outperformer.

EXAS Stock Higher After UNH Coverage, PT Hikes

EXACT Sciences stock saw its price target lifted at Canaccord Genuity (to $40) and Benchmark (to $50) after UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) said it will cover the drugmaker's Cologuard. After closing last night at $32.65 -- up 144% on the year -- EXAS share are 9.1% higher in electronic trading. Today's projected price move could encourage more short sellers to jump ship. Though short interest is down 9% in the most recent reporting period, more than one-quarter of EXAS stock's float is still sold short, most notably by Citron Research's Andrew Left

AVGO Stock Price Target Raised Ahead of Earnings

Broadcom earnings are due after tomorrow's close, and Loop Capital thinks the company will post a beat and boost its guidance. Additionally, the brokerage firm said traders should "continue to add to positions," and raised its price target to $270 from $251. RBC also raised its price target on AVGO stock, to $260 from $250. Both targets sit in uncharted territory for Broadcom shares, though the security is trading 1.4% higher ahead of the bell, and could open above its May 26 all-time peak of $241.60.

Longer term, AVGO stock is up 35.7% in 2017 based on Tuesday's settlement at $239.82, and options traders are optimistic ahead of earnings. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the equity's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 3.38 ranks 5 percentage points from a 52-week peak, meaning calls have been bought to open over puts at a near-annual-high clip.

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