Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Upgrades: Ford Motor, Cisco Systems, and Intuitive Surgical

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on F, CSCO, and ISRG

by 1/14/2013 9:10 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on automobile maker Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F - 14.00), tech issue Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO - 20.48), and medical equipment manufacturer Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG - 506.00). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • Up more than 16% on a year-over-year basis, F saw its price target lifted to $15 from $14 at Barclays this morning. Meanwhile, short-term options players seem to be bullishly biased toward the stock. Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) for F checks in at 0.57, with calls nearly doubling puts among options scheduled to expire within the next three months. This ratio registers in the 39th percentile of its annual range, reflecting a stronger-than-usual preference for near-term calls over their pessimistic counterparts.

  • CSCO -- which has climbed more than 7% during the past year -- was upgraded to "outperform" from "neutral," and received a price-target hike to $25 from $21 at Baird today. Also of note, William Blair lifted the stock to "outperform" from "market perform," while UBS upwardly revised its price target to $23.50 from $22. Today's glut of bullish attention is nothing new for CSCO, as most brokerage firms already maintain an upbeat recommendation on the stock. The equity currently sports 16 "strong buys" and three "buy" endorsements, compared to 11 "holds," and zero "sell" suggestions.

  • ISRG was raised to "buy" from "neutral" at Lazard ahead of the open, which could help add to the equity's year-to-date gain of more than 3%. This optimism toward the stock is prevalent in the options pits, as well. ISRG's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio stands at 1.55, confirming calls bought to open have outstripped puts during the last two weeks. This ratio ranks higher than 85% of similar readings taken within the past year, meaning traders have been buying calls over puts at a faster-than-usual pace.

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