Analyst Upgrades: Twitter, Micron Tech, and ETRADE

Analysts issued bullish brokerage notes on TWTR, MU, and ETFC

Karee Venema
Oct 20, 2014 at 9:24 AM
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Analysts are upwardly revising their ratings on microblogging issue Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), semiconductor concern Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU), and online broker E TRADE Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:ETFC). Here's a quick look at today's bullish brokerage notes on TWTR, MU, and ETFC.

  • Following reports of a new partnership, TWTR saw its price target raised to $63 from $62 at Topeka -- with the brokerage firm underscoring its "buy" rating -- representing expected upside of 29.2% to Friday's closing price of $48.77. A move of such magnitude isn't out of the question for a stock that's rebounded more than 65% since hitting an all-time low of $29.51 in early May. Plus, if past is prologue, TWTR could get an additional boost after it steps into the earnings confessional next Monday evening. After reporting its second-quarter earnings results in late July, the shares rallied roughly 20% in the subsequent session. Additionally, another round of bullish brokerage notes could help buoy the shares, as 13 out of 28 covering analysts maintain a "hold" or "strong sell" suggestion toward Twitter Inc.

  • Pacific Crest upped its outlook for MU to "outperform" from "sector perform," echoing the majority of analysts covering the shares. This optimism isn't surprising, though, considering MU is up more than 32% in 2014 -- and nearly 69% year-over-year -- to trade at $28.76. However, not everyone on the Street has taken this glass-half-full approach toward Micron Technology, Inc. Short interest, for example, accounts for nearly 10% of the stock's available float. Elsewhere, the equity's 50-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 0.33 ranks in the 83rd annual percentile. In other words, puts have been bought to open over calls at a faster-than-usual clip in recent months. Should MU continue to make its way up the charts, a capitulation by these bearish bettors could help fuel the stock's fire.

  • Goldman Sachs weighed in on ETFC -- which is scheduled to report third-quarter earnings after tomorrow's close -- by adding the stock to its "Conviction Buy" list. The equity has performed well over the long term, tacking on 15% over the past 52 weeks to trade at $20.12. In the options pits, short-term speculators have shown a preference for puts over calls, as evidenced by ETFC's front-month gamma-weighted Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 11.03. Simply stated, near-the-money put open interest outweighs call open interest by a more than 11-to-1 margin in the November-dated series. Going forward, this set-up could create an options-related foothold for E TRADE Financial Corporation, as the hedges related to these bets unwind over the next five weeks.

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