Analysts: Game On for ASND as Rival Drug Stock VSAR Spirals Lower

Once-skeptical analysts are starting to raise their EBAY targets

by Emma Gilkey

Published on Sep 22, 2017 at 11:02 AM
Updated on Sep 22, 2017 at 11:44 AM

Analysts are weighing in on e-commerce powerhouse eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY), pharmaceutical company Ascendis Pharma (NASDAQ:ASND), and aerospace concern Boeing Co (NYSE:BA). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on shares of EBAY, ASND, and BA.

Benchmark Ups Price Target on EBAY

Benchmark raised its EBAY price target to $45 from $40, but at last check, the stock was trading 0.3% lower at $38.13. The online auction site operator is cooling its heels after touching a record high of $38.87 on Wednesday, and EBAY currently boasts a healthy year-to-date gain of more than 28%.

A few recent price-target hikes aside, analysts are generally skeptical toward eBay. Out of 24 brokerage firms following the stock, 15 maintain a "hold" or "strong sell" rating. If any of these skeptics follow Benchmark's lead and issue bullish notes in response to the equity's rally to new highs, it could draw more buyers to the table for EBAY.

Analysts Hike ASND Targets as Rival VSAR Gets Crushed

Credit Suisse raised its price target on ASND to $50 from $30, and Wedbush issued a hike to $65 from $36, after a failed late-stage trial for rival drugmaker Versartis (VSAR) -- with Wedbush analyst Liana Moussatos calling the setback "game over" for VSAR. While VSAR has plummeted 86% to trade at $2.97, Ascendis shares are up 35.1% at $37.48 -- and earlier set a new record high of $42, placing former round-number resistance at $30 firmly in the rearview.

Ahead of this positive news for ASND, analysts were already upbeat on the stock. Among the five analysts tracking the biopharma name, four maintain "strong buy" ratings.

Boeing Extends Its Record-Setting Streak

After the Dreamliner parent upped its Southeast Asia order forecast amid strong demand, Cowen and Company raised its price target on Boeing to $315 from $300, alongside Jefferies, which raised to $300 from $275. The high-flying Dow stock is trading up 1% at $258.66, and hit a new record high of $259.30 earlier -- marking its sixth consecutive new intraday peak. 

Speculative players are looking to take part in BA's impressive uptrend. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), BA sports a 10-day call/put volume ratio of 1.81, which sits in the 98th percentile of its annual range. This suggests calls have been bought to open over puts at a faster-than-usual clip in recent sessions.

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