Investing

The Top 5 Analyst Calls of the Week, Plus Bonus (DNDN, INSP, MCP, SIRI, VICL, SLV, SIVR)

This last week brought many reactionary calls from analysts after earnings.  Our goal in the top analyst calls of the week is not to highlight after-the-fact research but to highlight those research calls from analysts who made breaking calls or made aggressive calls that were outside of the pack.  This week’s top five analyst calls we tracked were in shares of Dendreon Corporation (NASDAQ: DNDN), Infospace Inc. (NASDAQ: INSP), Molycorp Inc. (NYSE: MCP), SIRIUS XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI), and Vical Inc. (NASDAQ: VICL). We also had a major technical analysis call in silver which we could not ignore.  This is why we have highlighted the silver exchange traded funds of iShares Silver Trust (NYSE: SLV) and ETFS Physical Silver Shares (NYSE: SIVR).  The details of each call are below.

Dendreon Corporation (NASDAQ: DNDN) was a call that we are highlighting due to its timing rather than due solely to its impact.  On Friday came new coverage from ThinkEquity with a “Buy” rating and a $50.00 price target.  What makes this key is that this comes ahead of earnings and the firm cited better than expected growth in Provenge sales.  This is actually our second time this month that Dendreon was in the top analyst calls of the week.

Infospace Inc. (NASDAQ: INSP) was one we were surprised to see pop this week after beating earnings expectations and slightly raising guidance.  If there is one of the old great dot-com bubble stocks that deflated and became dead money it is Infospace.  Then came a call this week from S&P Equity Research and the ratings agency raised the stock rating to “Buy” and gave a price target objective of $11.00 per share.  This is above the consensus average target and the high for the year is $10.91.  This stock was at $8.78 before earnings.  S&P’s key note, “we note that the core search business showed sequential improvement with the addition of a number of a new distribution partners.”  Our food for thought here for a company trades close to book value… maybe Infospace can catch some of the Groupon mojo like we highlighted in other names.

Molycorp, Inc. (NYSE: MCP) may be peaking.  This last week brought a downgrade from Gabelli & Co., although the downgrade did not really take much wind out of the stock.  What is important here is that at some point more analysts will likely be forced to join in as the valuation is something we have cited as going from excessive to one of crack and meth.  Molycorp actually closed up $5.00 this week, but the downgrade may have put a cap on it after that Monday rally. 

SIRIUS XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) was one where we issued our own outlook of what to expect with some warnings after the stock hit $2.00 early in the week.  It was only about 12-hours later that SIRIUS XM was given a downgrade on valuation by Lazard.  This is ahead of its earnings report and the downgrade was followed by a call from Wunderlich advising clients not to chase SIRIUS XM shares.  What made this stand out even more is that SIRIUS XM shares totally ignored the calls.  Yep, what seems to be one of the top calls turned out to be a dud as shares closed at $1.985 after having hit $2.00 for a 52-week high on 3 different days this week versus a $1.93 close the prior Friday. 

Vical Inc. (NASDAQ: VICL) was impossible to not have on the list of the gutsiest and greatest analyst calls of the week.  Canaccord Genuity issued a “Buy” rating but not just any ordinary “Buy” rating.  The firm is looking for shares to rise about 146% from its pre-call price.  The research call created a 10% pop, and we have another fund manager who tipped us off on this one with more positive insight ahead through 2011.  Full details of the Vical call with background data are at BioHealthInvestor.com.

The technical analysis call of the week goes to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.  While it did not mention the iShares Silver Trust (NYSE: SLV) nor the ETFS Physical Silver Shares (NYSE: SIVR) exchange-traded products, the report should have as these will be the direct winners if it comes true… The firm sees a technical breakout calling for not just $50 silver… Bank of America Merrill Lynch gave the technical reasons for why it sees $80 silver, and gave chart updates as well. 

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JON C. OGG