Morning Buzz: Apple (AAPL), Threshold Pharmaceuticals (THLD), Mid-Con Energy Partners (MCEP), Alibaba (BABA)

Apple Inc. (AAPL) had its price target raised to $125 from $115 by analysts at UBS on Tuesday. The firm’s price objective suggests a potential upside of 14.85% from the stock’s previous close. Apple shares recently rose fractionally to $108.86. The stock is up more than 35% this year and has risen roughly 47% over the past 12 months.

In other Apple news, Reuters reports that Cupertino is embarking on its most aggressive expansion yet onto corporate turf, hiring a dedicated sales force to talk with potential clients like Citigroup Inc (C) and working in concert with a dozen or so developers.

On valuation measures, Apple Inc. shares are currently priced at 16.87x this year’s forecasted earnings, compared to the industry’s 25.20x earnings multiple. Ticker has a PEG and forward P/E ratio of 1.25 and 12.85, respectively. Price/Sales for the same period is 3.49 while EPS is $6.45. Currently there are 31 analysts that rate AAPL a ‘Buy’, while 11 rate it a ‘Hold’. 2 analysts rate it a ‘Sell’. AAPL has a median Wall Street price target of $115.00 with a high target of $143.00.

Shares of Threshold Pharmaceuticals Inc. (THLD) are up almost 18% to $3.50 in pre-market trading Tuesday after the company today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted Fast Track designation for TH-302, an investigational anticancer drug for the treatment of previously untreated patients with metastatic or locally advanced unresectable soft tissue sarcoma.

“We are pleased that FDA has granted Fast Track status for TH-302…” said in a statement Barry Selick, Ph.D., CEO of Threshold. “Our ongoing Phase 3 trial of TH-302 in these patients is being conducted under a Special Protocol Assessment with the FDA. If successful, the Fast Track designation may provide an added benefit of facilitating the NDA review process. Currently, we anticipate the primary analysis of overall survival of the Phase 3 trial to be conducted in the first quarter of 2016.”

On trading measures, THLD has an average 30-day trading volume of 816,191 shares. In the past 52 weeks, shares of South San Francisco-based biotechnology company have traded between a low of $2.58 and a high of $5.93. The company has a current market cap of $173.64 million and a current ratio of 2.97.

Shares of Threshold Pharmaceuticals are down 29.88% year-over-year, and 36.19% year-to-date.

Shares of Mid-Con Energy Partners, LP (MCEP) are trading down almost 6% in pre-market trading Tuesday, after the company announced plans to sell 5.8 million common units. Mid-Con Energy said it intends to use the net proceeds of this offering, after deducting underwriting discounts and estimated expenses, to fund a portion of the purchase price of its previously announced pending acquisition of the Eastern Shelf properties in the Permian Basin in West Texas.

Mid-Con Energy will fund the balance of the purchase price for such acquisition with borrowings under its credit facility.

On valuation measures, Mid-Con Energy Partners, shares are currently priced at 19.20x this year’s forecasted earnings, compared to the industry’s 21.95x earnings multiple. Ticker has a PEG and forward P/E ratio of 8.94 and 11.04, respectively. Price/Sales for the same period is 3.98 while EPS is $0.94. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate MCEP a ‘Buy’, while 2 rate it a ‘Hold’. No analyst rates it a ‘Sell’. MCEP has a median Wall Street price target of $22.00 with a high target of $26.00.

In the past 52 weeks, shares of Dallas, Texas-based company have traded between a low of $14.50 and a high of $24.69 and are now at $16.95. Shares are down 17.59% year-over-year, and 13.47% year-to-date.

China Finance Online Co., Ltd. (JRJC) is a big mover this session, as its shares are up 12%. The company today announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership agreement with Great Wall Securities Co. Limited, one of China’s oldest securities firms.

“We are happy to announce this new partnership at this encouraging moment where the well-anticipated Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect will soon be launched,” stated Zhiwei Zhao, Chairman and CEO of China Finance Online. “With Chinese government’s accelerated opening of capital markets, our Company will take advantage of waves of regulatory change and keep standing at the forefront of financial innovations.”

China Finance is a Beijing-based provider of integrated financial information and services in the People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong. Its stock has a median consensus analyst price target of $8.30 and a 52-week trading range of $2.33 to $11.88. The T-12 profit margin at China Finance Online Co. is (9.70%). JRJC‘s revenue for the same period is $83.42 million.

China Finance has market cap of $140.67M.

Investment analysts at Oppenheimer initiated coverage on shares of Alibaba Group Holding (BABA) in a note issued to investors on Tuesday saying the world’s largest online/mobile commerce platform has now developed to be one of the most comprehensive ecosystems globally. The firm set an ‘Outperform’ rating and a $133 price target on the stock. Oppenheimer’s price target would suggest a potential upside of 13% from the stock’s current pps. Right now, the stock is sitting at $117.51, a 1.38% loss, and is 27% higher year-to-date.

In other Alibaba news, the Chinese e-commerce giant surpassed more than $2 billion in sales volume processed through payments app Alipay within the first hour and 11 seconds of Nov. 11. As of Tuesday morning (around 9 pm local time in Hangzhou China, where Alibaba is headquartered) sales had surpassed $8 billion, with 42.9% generated from mobile, according to Alibaba.

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