Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Upgrades: Alcoa Inc, TripAdvisor Inc, and Smith & Wesson Holding Corp

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on AA, TRIP, and SWHC

by 6/2/2014 9:16 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Analysts are weighing in today on aluminum producer Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA), travel website TripAdvisor Inc (NASDAQ:TRIP), and firearms concern Smith & Wesson Holding Corp (NASDAQ:SWHC). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • AA -- which is up 28% year-to-date to perch at $13.61 -- received an upgrade to "neutral" from "underperform" at BofA-Merrill Lynch in pre-market action. Also this morning, Alcoa Inc and clean technology company Phinergy unveiled a new type of electric car powered by an aluminum-air battery. Elsewhere on Wall Street, the brokerage crew has been rather skeptical toward AA, with no less than two-thirds of the covering analysts dishing out "hold" or worse suggestions. Furthermore, the average 12-month price target of $12.40 represents an 8.9% discount to the stock's current price. This leaves the door wide open for more upgrades and/or price-target hikes in the near term, which could project the shares further up the charts.

  • Meanwhile, Pacific Crest lifted its rating on TRIP to "outperform" from "sector perform" this morning. Given its one-month gain of 20.3% to $97.17, TripAdvisor Inc is seemingly deserving of bullish attention. However, the equity has a healthy amount of short interest stacked up against it, as 12.5% of its available float is currently sold short. It would take more than four sessions to cover these bearish bets, at TRIP's average daily volume.

  • SWHC has advanced more than 38% over the last three months to linger near $15.88, and this morning, the equity saw its price target increased to $20 from $16 at Benchmark. Like TRIP, Smith & Wesson Holding Corp's strong technical backdrop has yet to impress a number of bearish traders. Short interest makes up close to 32% of the stock's float, which is equivalent to 11.8 sessions' worth of pent-up buying demand, at the shares' average pace of trading.
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