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Analyst Upgrades: AAP, KO, and STX

Analysts adjusted their ratings on AAP, KO, and STX

by 4/18/2012 10:37 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on automotive parts retailer Advance Auto Parts, Inc. (AAP - 90.50), beverage behemoth The Coca-Cola Company (KO - 74.02), and hard disk drive developer Seagate Technology, Inc. (STX - 29.30). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • First up, AAP is up 0.4% this morning after a positive note from RBC. The firm said it expects healthy trends for U.S. auto parts retailers, and lifted its price target on AAP to $99 from $92. The stock's average 12-month price target rests at $93.75, which implies expected upside of just 4% to Tuesday's close of $90.19. The shares are currently bouncing from support in the $88-$90 region, which has acted as a technical backstop since March 13. Should AAP continue its year-to-date climb of 29.5%, the remaining bearish brokerages could follow RBC's lead with a round of upward revisions.
  • Next, KO was greeted with several price-target hikes on the heels of Tuesday's solid first-quarter earnings. Specifically, UBS raised its target to $77 from $73, but maintained its "neutral" rating; Bernstein held onto its "outperform" recommendation, and upped its price target to $79 from $75; and Barclays kept its "overweight" stance, and boosted its target by $7 to $81. If the Dow component can extend its modest its post-earnings positive momentum, there could be additional upbeat analyst notes in store. The consensus 12-month price target rests at $76.50, just 3.4% above yesterday's close of $73.95. At last check, KO is trading just north of breakeven.
  • After posting a well-received third-quarter report last night, STX jumped to a more than eight-year high this morning. Currently, the stock is up about 5%, thanks in part to a slew of price-target adjustments. Namely, RBC upped its target to $29 from $25; Barclays lifted its target by $5 to $36; Brean Murray raised its target to $38 from $35; Needham Research raised its price target by $7 to $52; and FBN Securities hiked its target to $40 from $35. STX's average 12-month price target rests at $32.72, representing a modest 11% premium to today's fresh multi-year peak of $29.47. Should STX continue on its impressive technical run, more skeptical analysts could be swayed to the bullish camp. The shares have enjoyed an impressive 70% rise in 2012, and a 55.5% year-over-year gain.

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