Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Upgrades: AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., and Southwest Airlines Co

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on T, VZ, and LUV

by 7/30/2014 8:47 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on telecom firms AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), as well as air-transportation issue Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • T rallied 2.6% yesterday to $36.59, after Windstream Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:WIN) received regulatory approval to spin off part of its telecommunications network into a real estate investment trust (REIT). Macquarie responded this morning, raising its price target on AT&T Inc. to $38 from $37, while maintaining its "neutral" rating. Should the shares continue to rally, additional bullish brokerage notes could be on the way. T's consensus 12-month price target (at $36.09) stands at a discount to current trading levels, and half of the equity's 22 covering analysts give the stock a tepid "hold" endorsement.

  • VZ also gained due to the aforementioned WIN news, closing nearly 1% higher at $51.97. In response, Macquarie upped its price target on the Dow component to $53 from $52 (though it also downgraded the shares to "neutral" from "outperform"). Taking a step back, the brokerage bunch is bullish toward Verizon Communications Inc., with 24 out of 28 covering analysts doling out a "buy" or better rating, compared to four holds and not a single "sell" recommendation.

  • Finally, LUV has been flying high on the charts, more than doubling in value on a year-over-year basis to trade at $28.71. Accordingly, J.P. Morgan Securities raised its price target on the shares to $29.50 from $26 -- though the firm also reaffirmed its "underweight" opinion. Generally speaking, the Street doesn't see much upside ahead for Southwest Airlines Co, as the equity's consensus 12-month price target of $32.07 is less than 12% above Tuesday's closing price. That said, if additional price-target hikes materialize, LUV shares could get a lift.

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