Notable Upgrades: Vertex Pharma (VRTX), AcelRx (ACRX), First Solar (FSLR), LinkedIn (LNKD), Nvidia (NVDA)

Analysts at H.C. Wainwright are out with a report this morning upgrading shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (VRTX) with a ‘Buy’ from ‘Neutral’ rating. The firm raised its price target for the company to $155 from $85, noting that during the last four months they have witnessed a fundamental change in the company’s pipeline as a result of aggressive internal R&D and crafty business development.

Over the past year, shares of Boston, Massachusetts-based company have traded between a low of $97.45 and a high of $143.45 and are now at $126.17.

Shares are up 10.61% year-over-year and 6.20% year-to-date.

Analysts at Jefferies upgraded their rating on the shares of AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ACRX). In a research note published on Friday, the firm lifted the name with a ‘Buy’ from ‘Hold’ rating. The name was also assumed with ‘Buy’ from ‘Hold’ at Jefferies.

AcelRx Pharmaceuticals Inc. shares have a t-12 price/sales ratio of 21.52 while EPS is ($0.9). Currently there are 3 analysts that rate ACRX a ‘Buy’, 3 rate it a ‘Hold’. No analyst rates it a ‘Sell’. ACRX has a median Wall Street price target of $7.00 with a high target of $10.50.

First Solar, Inc. (FSLR) was reiterated a ‘Buy’ by Standpoint Research analysts on Friday. The broker also raised its price target on the stock to $72 from $60.

First Solar Inc. recently traded at $50.99, a gain of $0.14 over Thursday’s closing price. The name has a current market cap of $5.15 billion.

LinkedIn Corporation (LNKD) was upgraded to ‘Buy’ from ‘Neutral’ by Sterne Agee CRT analysts on Friday. LNKD’s 12-month base case estimate was also raised to $285 from $240 at Mizuho.

On valuation measures, LinkedIn’s current year and next year EPS growth estimates stand at 11.40% and 56.40%, compared to the industry growth rates of 13.30% and 24.50%, respectively. LNKD has a t-12 price-to-sales ratio of 10.85. EPS for the same period registers at ($0.89).

LNKD shares have advanced 14.13% in the last 4 weeks and 6.76% in the past three months. Over the past 5 trading sessions the stock has gained 8.25%. The Mountain View, California-based company, currently valued at $28.29 billion, has a median Street price target of $260 with a high target of $320.

LinkedIn Corp. is up 8.77% year-over-year, compared with a 4.75% gain in the S&P 500.

Nvidia Corporation (NVDA) was raised to ‘Equal-Weight’ from ‘Underweight’ at Morgan Stanley (MS) on Friday.

Nvidia Corp. recently traded at $27.68, a loss of $0.99 over Thursday’s closing price. The name has a current market capitalization of $14.92 billion.

As for passive income investors, the company pays shareholders $0.39 per share annually in dividends, yielding 1.37%.

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