Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Upgrades: Apple Inc. (AAPL), Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA), and Salesforce.com, inc. (CRM)

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on AAPL, TSLA, and CRM

by 10/21/2013 9:24 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Analysts are weighing in today on tech behemoth Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), and cloud computing firm Salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • AAPL -- which is due to report quarterly earnings after the market closes on Monday, Oct. 28 -- was upgraded to "buy" from "hold," and saw its price target lifted to $575 from $500 at Societe Generale. Apple Inc. has shed more than 4% so far this year to hover at $508.89, yet calls have been preferred over puts in the near-term options pits lately. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) checks in at 0.54, confirming calls nearly double puts among options slated to expire within the next three months. This ratio ranks in the 11th percentile of its annual range, meaning short-term speculators have rarely been more call-heavy toward AAPL during the past year.

  • Up a whopping 561% on a year-over-year basis to perch at $183.40, TSLA scored a price-target hike to $93 from $83 at J.P. Morgan Securities ahead of the opening bell. Nevertheless, pessimism abounds on Tesla Motors Inc. In fact, the equity's 50-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 0.96 is just 9 percentage points from a 12-month peak, signaling traders have been scooping up puts relative to calls at a near-annual-high clip. What's more, six out of 13 covering analysts maintain a "hold" or worse rating for the security -- leaving some wiggle room for a round of future upgrades.

  • CRM was raised to "strong buy" from "outperform" at Raymond James today, which could help add to the stock's year-to-date gain of nearly 29%. Salesforce.com, inc. has also outpaced the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by north of 21 percentage points during the last three months to trade at $54.10, yet there is still plenty of skepticism levied against the computing concern. Short interest accounts for 9.2% of the security's available float, bringing the number of shorted shares to 49.7 million. It would take two weeks to cover these bearish bets, at CRM's average pace of trading. This ample amount of sideline cash is more than enough to fuel a short-covering rally, should the equity continue to trek higher.

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