Stocks quoted in this article:
Analysts are weighing in today on tech issue Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT - 11.28), biopharmaceutical company VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS - 21.22), and accessories maven Coach, Inc. (NYSE:COH - 54.84). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.
- As AMAT prepares to reveal quarterly earnings next week, the stock was upgraded to "buy" from "neutral" at Goldman Sachs this morning. Although the equity has gained a modest 5% year-to-date, analysts may be focusing on the fact that the company has bested bottom-line consensus estimates in each of the past four quarters. In the options pits, traders seem to prefer calls over puts, as evidenced by its Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.44. This ratio arrives in the optimistically skewed 17th percentile of its annual range, reflecting a healthier-than-usual appetite for bullish bets over bearish.
- Meanwhile, VVUS is on tap to report second-quarter earnings after today's close, which may have prompted Lazard to boost the equity from "neutral" to "buy." However, despite boasting a whopping year-over-year advance of 213%, there are still plenty of bears gravitating toward the stock. The security's 50-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 0.83 is just one percentage point shy of a yearly peak, signaling that traders have been purchasing puts over calls at an almost annual-high clip.
- Finally, despite a year-to-date decline of more than 10%, COH was raised to "buy" from "hold" at Canaccord Genuity before the opening bell. Even so, near-term options players are feeling pretty bearish toward the stock. In fact, the equity's SOIR checks in at 2.40, indicating that puts more than double calls among the front three-months' series of options. This ration registers in the 79th annual percentile, conveying that near-term options players have been more put-heavy toward the stock just 20% of the time during the past year.