Apple, Square, Arista Networks Upgraded

Apple Inc. (AAPL), Square Inc (SQ), and Arista Networks Inc (ANET) are winning support from Wall Street analysts

by Alex Eppstein |

Published on Feb 17, 2017 at 9:28 AM

Analysts are weighing in on Dow stock Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), payment processor Square Inc (NYSE:SQ), and cloud concern Arista Networks Inc (NYSE:ANET). Here's a roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on AAPL, SQ, and ANET shares.

iPhone 8 Hype Earns Apple Applause

Cowen reiterated its "outperform" rating on AAPL, citing optimism over the upcoming iPhone 8 launch. On a related note, the company will also begin manufacturing the iPhone SE in India. Apple Inc. shares have been strong on the charts, earlier this week touching a record high of $136.27, and settling at $135.35 yesterday. Meanwhile, options traders have been racing toward calls, buying the contracts at almost twice the pace of puts during the past 10 days at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). The resultant call/put volume ratio of 1.96 ranks in the high 85th annual percentile.

Citigroup Recommends Buying Square Shares

SQ is up 1.9% pre-market, after Citigroup initiated coverage with a "buy" rating and a $20 price target. Not only is that target price in all-time-high territory, it also represents a 44% premium to yesterday's close at $13.89. On the charts, Square Inc has been strong since putting in a late-June bottom at $8.42. The gains could continue next week, if the company's turn in the earnings confessional -- scheduled for Wednesday night -- is a success. Short sellers have been hitting the exits in the lead-up to that event. In the most recent reporting period, short interest on SQ fell about 8%, and it would take fewer than three days to cover the remaining short positions, at the stock's average trading volume.

Arista Networks Stock Soars on Earnings

ANET is poised to pop almost 12% at the open, and touch a record high, following the firm's earnings beat. The positive quarterly data inspired Jefferies to raise its rating to "hold" from "underperform," and double its price target to $100 from $50. At least 12 other analysts followed suit with price-target hikes. A number of options traders could cash in on an Arista Networks Inc bull gap. During the past two weeks at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX, speculators have bought to open 1.23 calls for each put -- a ratio ranking in the top quartile of its annual range. Last night, ANET settled at $100.17, having advanced more than 67% year-over-year.

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