Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Upgrades: Citigroup,, and Lululemon Athletica

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on C, CRM, and LULU

by 12/7/2012 9:04 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on financial services firm Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C - 37.02), cloud computing company, inc. (NYSE:CRM - 157.41), and yoga apparel retailer Lululemon Athletica inc. (NASDAQ:LULU - 73.57). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • C -- which has surged nearly 41% year-to-date -- was started with a "buy" recommendation at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey this morning. Meanwhile, speculators have been showing a preference for calls over their bearish counterparts lately. Data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows a 20-day call/put volume ratio of 1.63 for C. In other words, calls bought to open have easily outstripped puts during the past four weeks.

  • Up more than 55% so far this year, CRM received a price-target hike to $200 from $180 at FBR ahead of the opening bell. The equity has also outpaced the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) on a relative-strength basis during the last 60 sessions. Nevertheless, near-term puts currently outnumber calls, as evidenced by the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.21. This bearishly skewed ratio registers in the 56th percentile of its annual range, indicating short-term options players are slightly more put-heavy toward the security than usual.

  • LULU saw its price target lifted to $67 from $62 at Nomura today, after reporting stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings on Thursday, while also raising its full-year guidance. The security has climbed nearly 58% in 2012 alone, yet bearish speculation on LULU remains alive and well. In fact, short interest accounts for more than 14% of the equity's available float. It would take more than 11 days to unwind these pessimistic bets, at the stock's average pace of trading. From a contrarian perspective, however, the shares could end up reaping the benefits of a short-covering rally down the road.

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