Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Upgrades: Juniper Networks, MetroPCS Communications, and Exelon

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on JNPR, PCS, and EXC

by 11/8/2012 8:56 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Analysts are weighing in today on network infrastructure provider Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR - 17.77), wireless communications giant MetroPCS Communications Inc (NYSE:PCS - 9.83), and energy issue Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC - 31.44). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • Up more than 3% in pre-market action, JNPR was upgraded to "buy" from "hold" and saw its price target lifted to $21 from $19 at Cantor Fitzgerald today, which could help ease the stock's year-over-year decline of nearly 24%. Despite today's positive attention, most of the analysts covering the equity maintain a cautious outlook toward JNPR. Only seven have deemed the security worthy of a "buy" or better rating, compared to 22 lukewarm "hold" recommendations. Meanwhile, the stock's average 12-month price target sits at $18.77, representing expected upside of just 5.6% to Wednesday's closing price of $17.77.

  • PCS -- which has gained roughly 17% during the past year -- was raised to "outperform" from "neutral" at Macquarie ahead of the opening bell. The equity has also bested the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by nine percentage points over the past three months, but skeptics seem unfazed by PCS' technical strength. In fact, short interest on the stock soared by nearly 160% during the last two reporting periods. These bearish bets now account for more than 4% of the security's available float -- suggesting the equity could stand to benefit from future short-covering activity.

  • Despite a year-to-date loss of close to 28%, EXC was lifted to "neutral" from "sell" at UBS last night. Meanwhile, calls appear to be ruling the options pits lately, according to data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDSAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). The stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio checks in at 2.76, confirming calls bought to open have nearly tripled puts during the past couple of weeks. This ratio is docked in the 55th percentile of its annual range, reflecting a slightly healthier-than-usual appetite for bullish options over bearish.

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