Stocks quoted in this article:
Analysts are weighing in today on mobile phone giant Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK - 4.45), coffee chain Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX - 54.54), and quick-service restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG - 298.41). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.
- NOK was flooded with bullish attention this morning, after noting that strong sales of its new Lumia smartphone have resulted in better-than-anticipated fourth-quarter earnings. Canaccord Genuity raised its price target to $4 from $3, while BMO, Kepler, Nomura, Credit Suisse, UBS, Exane BNP Paribas, and MKM Partners also issued upward price-target adjustments. The stock is up nearly 13% so far this year, yet most of the covering analysts remain wary of NOK. Only one has deemed the equity worthy of a "strong buy" endorsement, compared to 11 "holds," and nine "sell" or worse suggestions. This leaves plenty of room for future upgrades, which could push the shares higher.
- With fiscal first-quarter earnings scheduled for release on Jan. 24, SBUX saw its price target lifted to $64 from $59 at UBS ahead of the opening bell. The equity has climbed roughly 15% on a year-over-year basis, yet put buyers remain undaunted. SBUX's 50-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 0.94 ranks higher than 97% of comparable readings collected within the past year. In other words, speculators have picked up puts at a faster pace (relative to calls) just 3% of the time during the last 12 months.
- CMG -- which has outperformed the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by more than 6 percentage points during the past two months -- scored a price-target hike to $310 from $270 at UBS today. Meanwhile, although short interest on the security fell by nearly 12% over the last two reporting periods, these bearish plays still account for a lofty 12% of CMG's available float. In fact, it would take more than seven days to buy back these shorted shares, at the stock's average pace of trading. This could result in a contrarian boon for the equity down the road, should these skeptics continue to unwind their pessimistic bets.