Morning Buzz: Potash Corp. (POT), Agios Pharmaceuticals (AGIO), Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF), Vipshop Holdings (VIPS)

Raymond James is out with a report this morning upgrading shares of Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, Inc. (POT) with an ‘Outperform’ from ‘Market Perform’ rating and $40 from $38.50 price target, implying 11% expected return from the stock’s current price.

POT shares recently gained $0.68 to $36.08. The stock is up more than 13.61% year-over-year and has gained roughly 11.88% year-to-date. In the past 52 weeks, shares of the producer and seller of fertilizers and related industrial and feed products worldwide have traded between a low of $30.09 and a high of $38.58.

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, Inc., which closed Tuesday at $35.40, has a total market cap of $29.37B.

Agios Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (AGIO) is surging nearly 4% this pre-market session. The upside came after the biopharmaceutical company announced early Phase 1 data showing clinical acivity of AG-120 as a single agent in advanced acute myeloid leukemia.

“These data show very promising evidence of clinical activity for AG-120 in AML patients with an IDH1 mutation,” Chris Bowden, M.D., CEO of Agios Pharmaceuticals said in a statement. “Together with the data we reported from our ongoing Phase 1 study of AG-221 in advanced hematologic cancers, our lead investigational medicine and an IDH2-mutant inhibitor, we believe IDH inhibitors could potentially change the treatment paradigm for AML patients with these mutations. We look forward to moving rapidly into multiple expansion cohorts in the first half of 2015 to further characterize the potential of AG-120.”

AGIO shares recently gained $3.69 to $87.50. In the past 12 months, shares of Cambridge, Massachusetts-based firm have traded between a low of $15.91 and a high of $89.50. AGIO currently prints a year-to-date return of 250%, compared with an 15.18% gain in the S&P 500.

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (CLF) is one of Wednesday’s notable stocks in decline, down 15% to $8.67. The nosedive came after the mining and natural resources company announced today that it is pursuing exit options for its Eastern Canadian iron ore operations which may result in the closure of the Bloom Lake mine.

Lourenco Goncalves, Cliffs’ Chairman, President and CEO said, “Despite the continued interest of the prospective equity partners in Bloom Lake and in its high quality ore, the potential investment is not achievable within a time frame acceptable to Cliffs. ”

On valuation measures, Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. shares have a PEG and t-12 price/sales ratio of 5.17 and 0.32, respectively. Return on assets for the same period is 2.68, while EPS is $38.85. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate CLF a ‘Buy’, and 10 that rate it a ‘Hold’. 7 analysts rate the name a ‘Sell’. CLF has a median Wall Street price target of $10.00 with a high target of $18.00.

Shares are down 61.21% year-over-year, and 59.52% year-to-date.

Vipshop Holdings (VIPS) continues to see strong downside momentum after the retailer beat analysts’ Q3 estimates but noted it expects net revenues to grow more slowly in Q4, by 84%-87% year/year.

Vipshop Holdings lost $2.87, or 12%, to $20.84 in morning trading today. Approximately 12M shares have already changed hands, compared to the stock’s average daily volume of 9.94M shares.

On valuation-measures, shares of Vipshop Holdings Limited have a trailing-12 and forward P/E of 136.18 and 46.49, respectively. P/E to growth ratio is 0.78, while t-12 profit margin is 3.52%. EPS registers at $0.15. The company has a market cap of $11.82B and a median Wall Street price target of $26.00 with a high target of $30.00.

On trading-measure, VIPS has a beta of 0.92. In the past 52 weeks, shares of the online discount retailer for various brands in the People’s Republic of China have traded between a low of $7.13 and a high of $24.80 with the 50-day MA and 200-day MA located at $21.07 and $19.67 levels, respectively.

VIPS currently prints a one year return of about 174.10%, and a year-to-date return of around 183.27%.

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