Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Upgrades: Apple Inc. (AAPL), J.C. Penney Company, Inc., and AT&T Inc.

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on AAPL, JCP, and T

by 5/19/2014 9:20 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Analysts are weighing in today on global tech firm Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), retail chain J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP), and telecom specialist AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • AAPL -- which settled all smartphone patent litigation with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) on Friday -- saw its rating upped to "hold" from "sell" at Erste Group this morning. Over the past month, Apple Inc. has advanced nearly 14% to perch at $597.51, mostly thanks to a late-April earnings-induced bullish gap. Nevertheless, the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.71 ranks in the 74th percentile of its 12-month range, indicating short-term put open interest (relative to call open interest) is somewhat elevated.

  • Morgan Stanley became the the latest brokerage firm to weigh in on JCP, following the company's trip to the earnings confessional last Thursday evening. Specifically, the firm awarded the equity -- which jumped 16.2% on Friday to its current perch at $9.73 -- with a price-target hike to $7.50 from $4 earlier today. Regardless of the recent bout of bullish brokerage notes, J.C. Penney Company, Inc. maintains an average 12-month price target of $7.86, denoting a 19.2% discount to the shares' current price. Furthermore, the stock sports 16 "hold" or "sell" suggestions, versus just three "strong buy" endorsements.

  • T -- which struck an acquisition deal with DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV) yesterday -- received an upgrade to "outperform" from "market perform" at Raymond James today. Plus, Credit Suisse raised its price target by $2 to $41. On the charts, AT&T Inc. has tacked on close to 12% over the past three months to trade at $36.74. However, the equity is looking at a SOIR of 1.37, which ranks just 11 percentage points from a 12-month peak. In other words, short-term option players have rarely been more put-heavy toward T than they are right now. An extension of the stock's upward trajectory may cause some bearish bettors to hit the exits, which could be a technical boon for the shares.

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