Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Upgrades: Micron Technology, Inc., Bank of America Corp, and J.C. Penney Company, Inc.

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on MU, BAC, and JCP

by 1/9/2014 9:10 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on semiconductor name Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU), financial firm Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), and retailer J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • MU received a price-target hike to $28 from $19 at RBC overnight, following Tuesday's post-close turn in the earnings confessional. The security has soared roughly 227% during the past year, yet sentiment among the brokerage bunch remains divided toward Micron Technology, Inc. The stock maintains 12 "buy" or better ratings, compared to nine "holds" and three "sell" or worse suggestions. What's more, the equity's average 12-month price target of $23.27 denotes a discount to yesterday's closing price of $23.87. This leaves the door wide open for a round of upgrades and/or additional price-target hikes, which could help push the shares even higher.

  • Up about 45% year-over-year to perch at $16.58, BAC was initiated at Nomura with a "buy" rating this morning, while Guggenheim lifted its price target for the stock by $1 to $18. Meanwhile, data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows a 50-day call/put volume ratio of 3.56 for Bank of America Corp, confirming calls bought to open have more than tripled puts during the last 10 weeks. This ratio ranks in the 89th percentile of its annual range, meaning traders have been picking up calls over puts at a faster-than-usual pace.

  • JCP was upgraded to "overweight" from "neutral" at Piper Jaffray, despite yesterday's 10% tumble, which was triggered by the company's scant holiday sales data. J.C. Penney Company, Inc. has shed nearly 61% during the last 12 months to hover at $7.37, so it's not surprising that puts have been favored over calls lately. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) sits at 1.16, with puts outnumbering calls among options expiring in the next three months. This ratio registers higher than 70% of similar readings taken during the past year, signaling near-term speculators are more put-heavy toward JCP than usual right now.

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