3 Stocks With Flawless Analyst Ratings

Option bulls have targeted AMZN and MPC

by Karee Venema

Published on Mar 19, 2019 at 2:28 PM
Updated on Mar 19, 2019 at 2:33 PM

Analyst sentiment is bullish toward FAANG stock Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), oil major Marathon Petroleum Corp (NYSE:MPC), and electronics measurements specialist Keysight Technologies Inc (NYSE:KEYS), with FactSet data showing 100% "buy" ratings for each of these equities. Here's a closer look at how the shares of AMZN, MPC, and KEYS have performed on the charts, and how the rest of Wall Street is lined up on the stocks.

Amazon Options Traders Target Weekly Calls

Amazon stock is up 36% from its Dec. 24 annual low of $1,307. More recently, the shares broke out of a short-term consolidation near $1,590, and a bounce off their 80-day moving average earlier this month has AMZN headed for its sixth win in seven sessions -- up 2% today to trade at $1,777.93.

amzn stock daily chart march 19

In addition to the unanimous "buy" ratings from the brokerage bunch, the average 12-month Amazon price target sits all the way up at  $2,080.05, a nearly 17% premium to current levels and just above the equity's Sept. 4 all-time high of $2,050.50.

Options traders are more upbeat toward Amazon, too. In today's trading, roughly 100,000 calls have changed hands -- 1.5 times what's typically seen. While buy-to-open activity has been detected across several call strikes in the weekly 3/22 series, Trade-Alert highlights a 153-contract block of weekly 4/26 2,000-strike calls that were likely purchased for $7.30 apiece. If this is the case, breakeven for the call buyer at the close on Friday, April 26 -- a period that likely encompasses Amazon's next earnings report -- is $2,007.30 (strike + premium paid).

Marathon Petroleum Trades Near Key Technical Levels

Marathon Petroleum shares peaked at $88.45 on Sept. 25, before sinking all the way to a 15-month low of $54.29 on Dec. 24. The stock retraced 38.2% of this sell-off, before retreating back to $57.50 -- near its year-to-date breakeven mark. A bounce from here has the equity squaring off with the $62.35 region, home to a 23.6% Fibonacci retracement of MPC's late 2018 plunge and its 80-day moving average.

mpc stock daily chart march 19

In spite of these longer-term technical troubles, speculative players echo analysts' bullish bias toward MPC. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the equity's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 6.03 ranks in the 92nd annual percentile, meaning calls have been bought to open over puts at an accelerated clip in recent weeks.

Most of this action has centered at the April 65 call, as traders target a breakout above $65 by the close on Thursday, April 18. At last check, MPC stock is up 0.9% at $62.35, even after Raymond James and J.P. Morgan Securities cut their respective price targets to $90 and $89. Both are roughly in line with the consensus 12-month Marathon Petroleum price target of $92.38 -- still a 47.6% premium to current levels.

KEYS Stock Sounds Reliable Buy Signal

Keysight Technologies has had a standout start to 2019, up 39.1% -- pacing toward its best quarter ever. In fact, the stock topped out at a record high of $86.75 earlier today, and was last seen up 0.7% at $86.32. Higher highs could be in reach, too, if history is any guide.

keys stock daily chart march 19

Specifically, front-month implied volatilities are exceptionally low on KEYS stock at the moment, according to its Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 22%, which ranks in the 9th percentile of its 12-month range. Per Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White, in the three other times the equity has been within 2% of a new high while its SVI was ranked in 20th annual percentile or lower. One month after these signals, the security was higher every time, averaging a gain of 6.57%.

And while the consensus rating among analysts is "buy," there's room for price-target hikes to come through and lift the stock. The average 12-month price target for KEYS is $91.89, a lukewarm 6.4% premium to the security's current perch.


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