Analyst Upgrades: El Pollo Loco, lululemon, MGM Resorts

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc (LOCO), Lululemon Athletica inc. (LULU), and MGM Resorts International (MGM)

Jan 8, 2015 at 9:46 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on restaurant chain El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:LOCO), yoga apparel maker Lululemon Athletica inc. (NASDAQ:LULU), and casino concern MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on LOCO, LULU, and MGM.

  • Morgan Stanley chimed in on a number of restaurateurs today, and upped LOCO's price target by $2 to $27, while reiterating its "overweight" opinion. Consequently, the shares have tacked on 2.2% this morning to trade at $24.36, bringing their year-to-date advance to 22% -- including Monday's analyst-induced rally. Recently, traders at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) have been upping the bullish ante on El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. The stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio across this trio of exchanges has swollen to 1.47 from 1.22 just two weeks ago.

  • SunTrust Robinson upped its price target on LULU to $66 from $62, and reaffirmed its "buy" opinion. While the equity has outperformed the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by 36.5 percentage points during the past three months, the shares are attempting to climb into the black on a year-over-year basis, and fill a bear gap from mid-January. This morning, Lululemon Athletica Inc. has tacked on 2.2% to hover near $58.92. On the sentiment front, options traders have been extremely bullish on LULU, buying to open roughly 9.5 calls for every put during the last two weeks at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX. The resultant call/put volume ratio of 9.51 outranks all comparable readings from the last 12 months. However, a portion of these bullish positions may have been initiated by short sellers looking to hedge, as one-fifth of the stock's float is sold short. In other news, LULU has appointed Stuart Haselden its new chief financial officer.

  • Finally, MGM was upgraded to "outperform" from "market perform" at Wells Fargo. Since bottoming at $17.25 in mid-December, the stock has made a strong comeback, adding almost 21% to trade at $20.85. During the last 10 weeks at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX, however, MGM Resorts International has racked up a put/call volume ratio of 1.13 -- in the 92nd percentile of its annual range. If the shares continue to trek higher, a capitulation of these bearish bets could result in tailwinds.

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