Notable Upgrades: Citigroup (C), Vertex Pharma (VRTX), AbbVie (ABBV), Vascular Biogenics (VBLT), Medivation (MDVN)

Analysts at Jefferies are out with a report this morning upgrading shares of Citigroup Inc. (C) with a ‘Buy’ from ‘Hold’ rating, citing an attractive risk/reward profile despite potential short term headwinds. The name was also upgraded to ‘Outperform’ from ‘Neutral’ at Credit Suisse (CS).

On valuation measures, Citi shares are currently priced at 12.45x this year’s forecasted earnings, which makes them quite inexpensive compared to the industry’s 27.75x earnings multiple. Ticker has a forward P/E of 8.27 and t-12 price-to-sales ratio of 2.18. EPS for the same period is $3.95.

In the past 52 weeks, shares of the New York-based banking giant have traded between a low of $46.60 and a high of $60.95 and are now at $49.21.

Shares are down 2.50% year-over-year and 6.39% year-to-date.

Analysts at Argus upgraded their rating on the shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (VRTX). In a research note published on Monday, the firm lifted the name with a ‘Buy’ from ‘Hold’ rating and set its price target at $126 per share.

On valuation measures, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. shares have a PEG and forward P/E ratio of -2.72 and 24.27, respectively. Price/Sales for the same period is 40.23 while EPS is ($3.08). Currently there are 13 analysts that rate VRTX a ‘Buy’, 8 rate it a ‘Hold’. No analyst rates it a ‘Sell’. VRTX has a median Wall Street price target of $147.00 with a high target of $180.00.

AbbVie Inc. (ABBV) was raised to ‘Neutral’ from ‘Sell’ at Citigroup on Monday.

ABBV is down $2.10 at $53.64 on normal volume. Midway through trading Monday, 5.67 million shares of AbbVie Inc. have exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 11.79 million shares. The stock has ranged in a price between $53.51 to $55.43 after having opened the day at $55.39, as compared to the previous trading day’s close of $55.74.

Over the past, shares of North Chicago, Illinois-based drug maker have traded between a low of $52.06 and a high of $71.60.

Shares are down 12.83% since the beginning of the year.

Vascular Biogenics Ltd. (VBLT) was reiterated a ‘Buy’ by ROTH Capital analysts on Monday. The broker also raised its price target on the stock to $22 from $13, noting full Phase II data for the VB-111 study in recurrent glioblastoma were presented at ESMO.

Shares of VBLT are trading lower in midday trading by about 10%.

Medivation, Inc. (MDVN) was reiterated as ‘Buy’ on Monday by Maxim Group. The firm however, lowered its 12-month base case estimate on the name to $74 from $171.

MDVN shares recently lost $2.58 to $39.06. In the past 52 weeks, shares of San Francisco, Calif.-based biopharmaceutical company have traded between a low of $38.99 and a high of $70.79.

Shares are down 14.42% year-over-year and 16.39% year-to-date.

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