Notable Upgrades: Illumina (ILMN), Apple Inc. (AAPL), NewLink Genetics Corporation (NLNK), Shire plc (SHPG), JDS Uniphase (JDSU)

Shares of Illumina Inc. (ILMN) were upgraded to an ‘Overweight’ rating by Piper Jaffray analysts on Tuesday. The firm also raised its 12-month base case estimate to $210 from $192 implying 27.68% expected return from ticker’s current price.

ILMN shares recently gained $15.73 to $180.20. The stock is up more than 101.98% year-over-year and has gained roughly 48.72% year-to-date. In the past 52 weeks, shares of San Diego, California-based company have traded between a low of $80.88 and a high of $185.00.

Illumina Inc., which closed Monday at $164.47, has a total market cap of $22.93B.

Barclays is out with a report this morning raising Apple (AAPL)’s price target to $120 from $116 and estimates following the company’s solid Q4 report. The firm cited Cupertino’s iPhone 6 cycle as a driving force revenue-wise over the next several quarters before new products become growth drivers. Separately, Apple’s price target was also raised  to $115 from $110, and to $143 from $123 at Mizuho and Cantor, respectively.

Apple shares are currently priced at 16.09x this year’s forecasted earnings compared to the industry’s 24.96x earnings multiple. Ticker has a PEG and forward P/E ratio of 1.18 and 12.18, respectively. Price/Sales for the same period is 3.28 while EPS is $6.20. Currently there are 33 analysts that rate AAPL a ‘Buy’, while 10 rate it a ‘Hold’. 2 analysts rate it a ‘Sell’. AAPL has a median Wall Street price target of $110.00 with a high target of $135.00.

In the past 52 weeks, shares of the iPhone maker have traded between a low of $70.51 and a high of $103.74 and are now at $101.68. Shares are up 40.33% year-over-year and 26.55% year-to-date.

Cantor Fitzgerald reported on Tuesday that they have raised their rating for NewLink Genetics Corporation (NLNK). The firm has upgraded NLNK to a ‘Buy’ and lifted its price target to $41 from $34.

NewLink was a big gainer last session, as its shares rose $2.09, or 7%.12 on the day. Approximately 4,907,260 shares changed hands compared to the stock’s average daily volume of 727,165 shares.

NLNK currently prints a one year return of about 71.80% and a year-to-date return of around 42.84%. Ticker has a market cap of $877.46M and a median Wall Street price target of $38.00 with a high target of $51.00.

The chart below shows where the equity has traded over the past 52-weeks, with the 50-day and 200-day moving averages includ

Shire plc (SHPG) coverage was resumed on Tuesday by Deutsche Bank (DB) analysts with a ‘Buy’ rating and a price target of $220.00. The firm’s price objective suggests a potential upside of 18.59% from the stock’s current price.

SHPG shares are currently priced at 32.85x this year’s forecasted earnings, which makes them inexpensive compared to the industry’s (9.67)x earnings multiple. Ticker has a forward P/E of 16.97 and trailing-12 price-to-sales ratio of 6.50. EPS for the same period is $5.62.

In the past 52 weeks, shares of Dublin, Ireland-based firm have traded between a low of $120.60 and a high of $264.98 and are now at $185.51. Shares are up 51.22% year-over-year and 31.09% year-to-date.

Equities research analysts at UBS raised their price target on shares of JDS Uniphase Corporation (JDSU) to $17 from $14 in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday. The firm’s price target would suggest a potential upside of about 42% from the stock’s current pps.

JDS Uniphase has a forward PE of 14.80. Price/Sales for the t-12 period is 1.56 while EPS is ($0.08). The company has a market cap of $2.76 billion and is part of the communication equipments industry. Shares are down 22.82% year-over-year and 7.66% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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