Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Upgrades: SanDisk, Sprint Nextel, and Lowe's Companies

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on SNDK, S, and LOW

by 10/15/2012 9:18 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on data storage provider SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK - 42.28), wireless communications giant Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S - 5.73), and home-improvement retailer Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW - 31.18). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • As SNDK prepares to report third-quarter earnings this Thursday, the equity scored several price-target hikes ahead of the open. Specifically, Wedbush raised its price target to $49 from $39, while Jefferies and ThinkEquity also issued upward price-target adjustments. The stock has surrendered about 14% so far this year, but that hasn't stopped call players from descending upon the stock. Data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows a 20-day call/put volume ratio of 2.46 for SNDK, confirming that calls bought to open have more than doubled puts during the past month.

  • Up about 3% in pre-market trading, S was upgraded to "hold" from "underperform," and saw its price target lifted to $7 from $3 at Jefferies this morning, after Japan-based Softbank Corp said it plans to acquire up to 70% of the company for $20.1 billion. Although the equity boasts a year-to-date gain of about 145% -- and has bested the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by north of 49 percentage points during the past 60 sessions -- the brokerage bunch is still bearishly skewed. Only nine analysts have deemed the security worthy of a "strong buy" rating, compared to 12 "holds" and five "sell" or worse suggestions.

  • LOW -- which sits on a year-over-year advance of around 49% -- received a price-target lift to $38 from $32 at Nomura today, while the brokerage firm also reiterated its "buy" recommendation. Nevertheless, near-term puts still outpace calls, as evidenced by the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.12. In fact, this ratio is just seven percentage points shy of a pessimistic peak, signaling short-term options players have been more put-heavy toward LOW just 7% of the time during the past year.

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