Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Upgrades: Apple Inc. (AAPL), Micron Technology, Inc., and Bank of America Corp

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on AAPL, MU, and BAC

by 12/3/2013 9:01 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on tech concern Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), semiconductor name Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU), and banking behemoth Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • UBS upgraded its rating on AAPL to "buy" from "neutral" -- and raised its price target to $650 from $540 -- following news that the company acquired Topsy, a social media and analytics startup. Apple Inc. has advanced just 3.6% so far this year to hover at $551.23, yet calls remain popular in the near-term options pits. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) sits at 0.59, with calls easily outnumbering puts among options scheduled to expire in the next three months. This ratio ranks in the 35th percentile of its annual range, signaling short-term speculators are more call-focused toward the equity than usual right now.

  • MU -- which has soared more than 235% year-to-date to trade at $21.27 -- was initiated at Needham Research with a "buy" endorsement and a price target of $30 this morning. The stock has outpaced the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by north of 26 percentage points during the past three months, yet skepticism continues to grow toward Micron Technology, Inc. Short interest rose by 8.2% during the last two reporting periods, and now these bearish bets account for a lofty 12.1% of the security's available float. Should the shares continue along their upward trajectory, MU could end up benefiting from a wave of future short-covering activity.

  • Up roughly 61% on a year-over-year basis to perch at $15.73, BAC received a price-target hike to $17 from $16 at Guggenheim, a day after the financial giant reached a settlement with Freddie Mac. Elsewhere, data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows a 50-day call/put volume ratio of 3.45 for Bank of America Corp, confirming calls bought to open have more than tripled puts during the past 10 weeks. In fact, this ratio is just 8 percentage points shy of a 12-month peak, meaning traders have been snapping up calls over puts at a near-annual-high clip.

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