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New Stock Coverage: IMS Health Holdings Has Prescription for Profit

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Wall Street ratings agencies set the tone for today's stock market.

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IMS Health Holdings (NYSE:IMS) is just what the doctor ordered, judging by this morning's rash of overwhelmingly upbeat research recommendations. The largest vendor of US physician prescribing data gets picked up with mostly bullish ratings this morning. Share price catalysts include high recurring revenue, reaccelerating organic growth rates, and expanding margins.
 
Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Samuelson famously said, "The stock market has predicted nine of the last five recessions," but such pessimism is now firmly in the past, with Wall Street having long ago ditched Cassandra for Pollyanna. Retail sales in April, up an anemic 0.1%, matched the pathetic first-quarter growth figure recently released, yet blue chips still rise to records. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) joined Dow Industrials (INDEXDJX:.DJI) at an historic high and, on a day TripAdvisor (NASDAQ:TRIP) tanked 3.82% for the former's poorest performance, travel agents suggesting that investors "sell in May and go away" look sillier than ever as this month approaches its midpoint. With due deference to both Cassandra and Pollyanna, the world's first woman was -- at least according to classical Greek mythology -- Pandora. She's clearly still going gangbusters, with Monday's analyst-inspired 6.01% advance in Internet outfit Pandora (NYSE:P) being swiftly followed by Tuesday's 7.33% surge in Danish jeweler Pandora (OTCMKTS:PNDZY). Alas, Elizabeth Arden (NASDAQ:RDEN) enjoyed no such Lady Luck, tumbling 22.82% in its single worst showing for five years.
 
There aren't any top-tier economic data due today, but quarterly earnings announcements include Agilent (NYSE:A), Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO), Deere (NYSE:DE), Macy's (NYSE:M), Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG), SeaWorld (NYSE:SEAS), Sodastream (NASDAQ:SODA), and Sony (NYSE:SNE).
 
Now let's turn to this morning's new stock coverage, a list that includes an accommodation outfit in addition to IMS Health Holdings.

Ashford Hospitality Prime (NYSE:AHP): The hotel and motel real estate investment trust is initiated with an Outperform at JMP Securities, whose price objective is $19.
 
Avago Technologies (NASDAQ:AVGO): Deutsche Bank begins Buy-rated research with a target price of $80.
 
IMS Health Holdings: Bank of America Merrill Lynch (Buy), Deutsche Bank (Buy and $28 target), JPMorgan (Overweight), Leerink Partners (Outperform and $29), Mizuho (Buy), Piper Jaffray (Overweight), and Stifel (Buy) are all equally upbeat. By contrast, Barclays (Equal Weight and $27) and Morgan Stanley (Equal-Weight and $26) advise greater caution.
 
InvenSense (NYSE:INVN): INVN is established with an Outperform at Imperial Capital, sending its stock up ahead of the open.
 
MWI Veterinary Supply (NASDAQ:MWIV): UBS starts the stock at a Buy. Its price objective is $168.
 
Nielsen (NYSE:NLSN): Shares are a new Overweight with Barclays.
 
Vipshop (NYSE:VIPS): Brean Capital begins Buy-rated coverage amid impressive secular growth in online flash sales.
 
Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC): The big bank is a new Buy with Nomura.
 
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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