Analyst Upgrades: GE, Medtronic, Palo Alto Networks

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on GE, MDT, and PANW

Nov 25, 2014 at 9:02 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on Dow component General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), medical technology firm Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT), and network security platform Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on GE, MDT, and PANW.

  • RBC initiated coverage on GE with an "outperform" rating this morning. While the shares are sitting nearly 4% below year-to-date breakeven, they've rallied 11.2% since hitting a mid-October closing low of $24.28 to their current perch at $27.00. Meanwhile, options traders have been bearishly arrayed toward General Electric Company for some time. The equity's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.40 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) ranks in the 96th percentile of its annual range. Elsewhere, short interest ramped up 33.6% during the last two reporting periods -- though, more broadly speaking, less than 1% of GE's float is dedicated to short interest.

  • RBC was also busy upping MDT's price target to $81 from $73, while underscoring its "outperform" recommendation. The positive analyst note appears to be well-deserved, considering the shares have rallied 27% since the start of 2014 to land at $72.93, and have outperformed the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by 12.2 percentage points over the past two months. Additional upside could be sparked by short-covering activity, as 6.9% of Medtronic, Inc.'s float is sold short -- which would take seven sessions to buy back, at the equity's typical daily trading volume.

  • Finally, PANW is pointed 1.2% higher ahead of the bell, after the company's fiscal first-quarter earnings beat was met with no fewer than a dozen price-target hikes. Leading the way were Morgan Stanley and Raymond James, which handed out the loftiest targets of $136 and $131, respectively. On the charts, Palo Alto Networks Inc has nearly doubled in value this year, closing yesterday at $113.26, after hitting an intraday record high of $113.38. Not surprisingly, 84% of the brokerage firms covering the stock rate it a "buy" or better, with not a single "sell" recommendation to be found.

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