Stocks quoted in this article:
Analysts are weighing in today on financial services firm JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM - 46.37), network infrastructure provider Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR - 21.50), and passenger airline Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV - 11.45). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.
- JPM -- which sports a 12-month gain of nearly 24% -- was upgraded to "buy" from "hold" at Deutsche Bank ahead of the opening bell. Meanwhile, short-term speculation on the stock has been bullishly slanted lately. JPM's Schaeffer's put/call volume ratio (SOIR) checks in at 0.75, with calls outstripping puts among options scheduled to expire within the next three months. This ratio hovers just 3 percentage points above an annual nadir, indicating short-term options players have rarely been more call-heavy toward the security during the past year.
- JNPR was flooded with bullish attention this morning, thanks to yesterday's better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings report. Janney raised its price target to $27 from $21, while UBS, BMO Capital, and Cantor Fitzgerald also upwardly revised their respective price targets. The equity has advanced more than 9% year-to-date, yet most of the covering analysts remain wary toward JNPR. Only nine have deemed the stock worthy of a "buy" or better rating, compared to 19 tepid "holds." What's more, the security's average 12-month price target of $20.02 represents a discount to Thursday's closing price of $21.50.
- Up nearly 12% so far this year, LUV scored a price-target hike to $14 from $12 at Dahlman Rose today. However, despite the stock's positive price action, puts remain popular in the options pits. Data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows a 50-day put/call volume ratio of 3.28 for LUV, confirming puts bought to open have more than tripled calls during the last 10 weeks. This ratio registers in the 82nd annual percentile, meaning traders have been buying puts over calls at a faster-than-usual pace.