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Analysts are weighing in today on financial services firm Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C - 36.66), network solutions provider Acme Packet, Inc. (NASDAQ:APKT - 16.09), and accessories designer Fossil, Inc. (NASDAQ:FOSL - 85.09). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.
- C was upgraded to "strong buy" from "outperform" at Raymond James, and scored price-target hikes at Bernstein, JMP Securities, and Sterne Agee today after revealing stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings yesterday. With a year-to-date gain of more than 39%, it's no surprise that near-term calls almost double puts, as evidenced by the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.66. This ratio arrives in the 20th annual percentile, confirming short-term traders have been more call-heavy toward C just one-fifth of the time during the past year.
- With quarterly earnings looming on the horizon, APKT saw its price target lifted to $15 from $13 at Wedbush ahead of the open, despite a loss of about 60% during the past year. The equity has also lagged the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by more than 12 percentage points during the last 20 sessions. Meanwhile, although short interest on the security fell by nearly 8% during the most recent reporting period, these bearish bets still make up a lofty 14% of APKT's available float. It would take more than a week to cover these shorted shares, at the stock's average daily trading volume.
- Up about 3% in pre-market trading, FOSL was raised to "buy" from "neutral" at Citigroup this morning, which could help ease its year-over-year decline of roughly 9%. Nevertheless, data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.63 for the stock, indicating puts bought to open have comfortably outstripped calls during the past two weeks. This ratio is docked in the pessimistically skewed 69th percentile of its annual range, reflecting a stronger-than-usual preference for puts over calls.