Analyst Upgrades: Apple Inc. (AAPL), Cisco Systems, Inc., and SolarCity Corp

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on AAPL, CSCO, and SCTY

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Nov 24, 2014 at 8:54 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Analysts are weighing in today on iPad parent Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), networking giant Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO), and alternative energy issue SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on AAPL, CSCO, and SCTY.

  • AAPL received a price-target hike to $135 from $120 at Susquehanna, which also reiterated its "positive" assessment of the shares. This doesn't come as a huge surprise, considering the stock has rallied 45.3% year-to-date to land at $116.47. Also, Apple Inc. has moved sharply higher since touching a mid-October low of $95.18, tacking on 22.4% since then. In the options pits, however, short-term traders are more put-skewed than usual, per AAPL's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.06. Not only does this metric indicate put open interest edges out call open interest among options expiring in the next three months, it also ranks in the 96th percentile of its annual range. An unwinding among these pessimistic put players could spell tailwinds for AAPL shares.

  • CSCO, which has advanced nearly 20% in 2014 to rest at $26.88, saw its price target lifted to $29 from $28 at RBC, which likewise affirmed its "outperform" opinion. This stock, too, has mounted a strong rally since mid-October, after taking a solid bounce off of its 100-week moving average. Options traders remain unconvinced, however, per data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). Cisco Systems, Inc.'s 50-day put/call volume ratio across those exchanges is 0.90, which sits 4 percentage points shy of an annual bearish peak. From a contrarian perspective, if CSCO can sustain its technical momentum, a mass exodus among these skeptics could provide a lift.

  • Despite trading below its year-to-date breakeven mark at $55.05, SCTY was upgraded to "outperform" at Baird. As such, the shares are pointed about 3% higher ahead of the bell, and look poised to test resistance at their 10-week moving average (at $56.31) out of the gate. On the sentiment front, SolarCity Corp has been a frequent target of short sellers in recent weeks. In fact, during the past two reporting periods, short interest on the stock spiked 24%, and now represents nearly 29% of SCTY's total float. In a similar vein, the equity's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 0.72 ranks in the 90th percentile of its 12-month range.

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