Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Upgrades: Micron Technology, Inc. (MU), VMware, Inc. (VMW), and Canadian Solar

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on MU, VMW, and CSIQ

by 10/3/2013 9:26 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Analysts are weighing in today on semiconductor concern Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU), virtualization issue VMware, Inc. (NYSE:VMW), and alternative energy firm Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ:CSIQ). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • MU scored its second upbeat note of the week, with Credit Suisse lifting its price target to $25 from $20. Despite skyrocketing more than 178% in 2013, there's still plenty of room on MU's bullish bandwagon. Short interest soared 19.2% during the past two reporting periods, suggesting the skeptics are alive and well. Plus, 10 out of 23 analysts maintain "hold" or worse opinions on the stock, and the consensus 12-month price target of $18.14 is just a stone's throw from Micron Technology, Inc.'s current price of $17.67. Should the shares once again rally after reporting earnings on Oct. 10 -- MU advanced an average of 5.7% the week after its last two reports -- additional upgrades and/or price-target hikes could add contrarian fuel to the security's fire.

  • VMW -- currently docked at $82.44 -- was upgraded to "outperform" from "sector perform" at FBN this morning. The brokerage firm also lifted its price target on the stock by $10 to $100. (Jefferies, on the other hand, trimmed its price target to $100 from $105.) Wall Street is bearishly skewed when it comes to VMware, Inc. More than half the analysts following the stock deem it a "hold" or worse, and short interest represents nearly nine sessions' worth of pent-up buying demand, at VMW's average pace of trading. Meanwhile, the stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) rests at 2.57 -- just 3 percentage points from a 12-month peak. In other words, option traders have purchased VMW puts over calls at a near-annual-high clip during the last two weeks.

  • Finally, Lazard hiked its price target on CSIQ by $5 to $25 ahead of the bell. The shares, which closed at $18.56 yesterday, are pointed 3% higher in pre-market action, after Canadian Solar Inc. said it sold two solar power plants to a fund managed by BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK). What's more, CSIQ touched a three-year high of $18.69 during Wednesday's session, after the firm unloaded two power plants to TransCanada Corporation (USA) (NYSE:TRP). Despite the security's quest for new highs, short interest skyrocketed by 42.6% during the past two reporting periods. Furthermore, just one analyst even follows the stock, offering up a "strong buy." A short-squeeze situation or bullish analyst initiations could translate into a contrarian boon for CSIQ.

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