Stocks quoted in this article:
Analysts are weighing in today software specialists Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL), plus yoga apparel maker Lululemon Athletica inc. (NASDAQ:LULU). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.
- RBC and CLSA both lifted their price targets on MSFT to $44 from $37 and $41, respectively, after the company introduced Office software for Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad yesterday. More upgrades and/or price-target hikes could be on the way, which could give MSFT shares an additional boost on the charts. Currently, Microsoft Corporation boasts a 12-month return of 37.6% to trade at $39.36; however, 13 of its 24 covering analysts maintain tepid ratings of "hold" or worse, and the average 12-month price target of $38.84 denotes a discount to the stock's current price.
- Cantor last night initiated coverage on ORCL with a "buy" rating and a price target of $50, after the shares spent four consecutive days in the green. To be specific, the shares have gained 4.6% from their March 21 closing price of $37.50 to trade at $39.24. In the options pits, meanwhile, Oracle Corporation's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.62 ranks lower than 99% of comparable readings from the past year, as call open interest (relative to put open interest) is at a near-annual-high level among ORCL options expiring within the next three months.
- LULU bounced 6.2% yesterday to close at $51.20 on an upbeat fourth-quarter earnings report, spurring several brokerage firms to upwardly adjust their positions on the stock. UBS and Jefferies increased their price targets to $52 from $46, and to $50 from $45, respectively, while CLSA upgraded the equity to "outperform" from "underperform." (Citigroup, meanwhile, lowered its price target.) As my colleague Andrea Kramer pointed out yesterday, short-term speculators have been particularly put-focused toward Lululemon Athletica inc. recently. In fact, the stock's SOIR of 1.36 ranks just 3 percentage points from a 12-month peak.