Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Upgrades: Apple Inc. (AAPL), McDonald's Corporation, and Costco Wholesale Corporation

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on AAPL, MCD, and COST

by 5/30/2014 9:26 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on tech giant Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), fast-food king McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD), and bulk retailer Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • AAPL's journey to higher intraday annual highs continued into yesterday's session, marking the sixth consecutive trading day. To be more specific, the equity ran to another fresh 12-month peak at $636.87, before closing with a 1.8% gain at $635.38. Not surprisingly, this morning, Apple Inc. saw its third straight day of bullish brokerage notes, with Nomura and Goldman Sachs upping their price targets to $621 from $574, and to $720 from $635, respectively. Likewise, option players have been more bullish than usual toward AAPL recently. The stock's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 1.95 ranks in the top 24% of its 12-month range, indicating AAPL calls have been bought to open over puts at an accelerated clip during the past two weeks.

  • MCD -- which is up nearly 10% from its Feb. 5 annual low of $92.22 to perch at $101.34 -- received a $2 price-target lift to $106 at J.P. Morgan Securities this morning. Despite the stock's strong technical backdrop, no less than half of MCD's covering analysts maintain tepid "hold" ratings. Plus, the average 12-month price target of $106.19 denotes a slim 4.8% premium to McDonald's Corporation's current price. As such, the door remains wide open for more upgrades and/or price-target hikes in the near term, which could give the shares an extra boost.

  • Although yesterday morning COST reported weaker-than-expected earnings for the fiscal third quarter, UBS increased its price target on the stock to $124 from $123 in pre-market action, perhaps inspired by the company's increase in sales. On the charts, Costco Wholesale Corporation sits 4.1% lower year-to-date to trade at $114.14, yet 11 of its 20 covering analysts maintain "strong buy" endorsements. Furthermore, the average 12-month price target comes in at $120.36, representing expected upside of 5.4% from the shares' current price.
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