The Tech Stock at New Highs After Earnings; Gilead Sciences Scores a Big FDA Win

Better-than-expected earnings and upbeat analyst attention has sent ADBE to record highs, though AXP is trading lower

Oct 19, 2017 at 10:21 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on biotech Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), software company Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE), and credit card provider American Express Company (NYSE:AXP). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on shares of GILD, ADBE, and AXP.

Gilead Sciences Stock Pops on FDA Cancer Drug Approval

Gilead Sciences stock is up 1.7% to trade at $81.40, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a cancer gene therapy drug that was developed by the company's Kite Pharma unit. Named Yescarta, the drug is designed to treat adults with large B-cell lymphoma, and has a list price of $373,000. In light of the FDA nod, Leerink raised its price target on GILD to $85 from $84.

GILD shares recently pulled back after hitting an annual high of $86.27 on Sept. 8, but bounced from their 50-day moving average -- a rising trendline that's ushered the shares higher since June. Options traders on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and the NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) appear to be bracing for more losses, though. GILD's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.69 ranks in the 92nd percentile of its annual range. In other words, options players have bought to open puts relative to calls at a faster-than-usual clip in the past two weeks.

Impressive Earnings Send Adobe Systems Stock To Record Highs

Another stock climbing the charts this morning is Adobe Systems which hit a record high of $167.87 earlier. ADBE shares were last seen trading 9.1% higher at $166.96, after the company offered up better-than-expected guidance for fiscal 2018, citing impressive growth in its cloud division.

As such, Pivotal Research upgraded the security to "hold" from "sell" and joined no fewer than 11 other brokerage firms in upping their price target on ADBE. The most optimistic outlooks came from Jefferies and Credit Suisse, both of which boosted their price target to $190.

The software stock has surged the charts this year, up 62% -- and short sellers have abandoned ship. Short interest on the equity dropped 10.2% during the past reporting period to just 4.4 million shares, or 0.9% of ADBE's total available float.

American Express Stock Dips Despite Earnings Beat

Despite posting better-than-expected third-quarter earnings and revenue, American Express stock is down 0.2% to trade at $91.93 -- though this shouldn't be too surprising, given the equity's post-earnings history. The company also announced CEO Kenneth Chenault plans to step down in February after spending 17 years with the credit card provider, and Vice Chairman Stephen Squeri was chosen to fill the position.

Following the company's earnings beat, no fewer than seven brokerage firms raised their price targets on AXP, including J.P. Morgan Securities, which upped its price target to $102 from $100 -- in uncharted territory.

American Express stock, which hit a two-year high of $93.34 on Monday, still boasts a 23.3% year-to-date gain. Still, not all analysts are convinced. Up to yesterday's close, 10 of the 16 analysts following the equity rated it a "hold" or worse.


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