Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Upgrades: Expedia, Under Armour, and Royal Caribbean

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on EXPE, UA, and RCL

by 10/26/2012 9:11 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Analysts are weighing in today on travel website Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE - 51.25), athletic apparel giant Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UA - 52.93), and cruise company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE:RCL - 33.74). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • Up more than 16% in pre-market trading, EXPE received a bounty of bullish attention today, after reporting third-quarter earnings that topped analysts' projections. The equity was upgraded to "buy" from "hold" at Benchmark Capital, and to "buy" from "neutral" at Lazard. Meanwhile, Barclays, J.P. Morgan, RBC, and Susquehanna upwardly revised their price targets. With the security gaining more than 87% during the past year, it's not surprising that calls bought to open have nearly tripled puts during the past month, as reflected by EXPE's 20-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 2.86.

  • UA saw its price target lifted to $70 from $58 at Canaccord Genuity, and to $36 from $33 at Keybanc this morning, thanks to better-than-expected quarterly earnings. Although the stock has climbed more than 47% so far this year, there still appears to be some skepticism lingering toward UA. Short interest on the equity rose by almost 4% during the most recent reporting period, and now these bearish bets account for a hefty 18% of the security's available float. In fact, it would take 11 days to buy back these shorted shares, at the stock's average pace of trading.

  • RCL -- which sits on a year-to-date advance of more than 36% -- was raised to "buy" from "hold" at Deutsche Bank today, while Barclays upped its price target to $35 from $29. These optimistic revisions came on the heels of the company's well-received turn in the earnings confessional yesterday, where RCL also raised its full-year outlook. Meanwhile, the equity's technical strength may have triggered a penchant for near-term calls over puts, as the security's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.55 arrives in the 21st annual percentile. In other words, short-term traders have rarely been more call-heavy toward the stock during the past year.

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