Analyst Update: Apple, Johnson & Johnson, Precision Castpart

Analysts adjusted their ratings on Apple Inc. (AAPL), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), and Precision Castparts Corp. (PCP)

Jan 16, 2015 at 3:05 PM
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Analysts are weighing in today on iPhone parent Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), blue chip Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), and castings manufacturer Precision Castparts Corp. (NYSE:PCP). Here's a quick look at today's brokerage notes on AAPL, JNJ, and PCP.

  • Just a day after an analyst downgrade, AAPL saw its price target boosted by two brokerage firms. Specifically, SocGen raised its price target to $130 from $115 and reaffirmed its "buy" rating, while RBC upped its target by $3 to $123 and kept its "outperform" recommendation. Nevertheless, the equity is down 1.2% at $105.54, and has now dropped close to 12% since hitting a record high of $119.75 on Nov. 25. Not surprisingly, puts have been in focus in Apple Inc.'s options pits. The security's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.10 sits only 3 percentage points from an annual high, a sign that short-term speculators are more put-skewed than normal.

  • This morning, Barclays upped its price target on JNJ by $1 to $103, after the company agreed to sell the rights to its pain drug, Nucynta, to Depomed Inc (NASDAQ:DEPO). Also buoying the shares -- which are up 0.8% at $103.33 -- is news that JNJ will receive additional funding to develop its Ebola vaccine. Longer term, Johnson & Johnson has been solid on the charts, adding almost 9% year-over-year, and if it can keep this momentum, could see additional bullish brokerage notes. Of the 15 analysts covering the shares, seven maintain tepid "hold" recommendations; likewise, the security's consensus 12-month price target of $109.02 is just 5.5% from the current perch.

  • After offering a disappointing forecast for its fiscal third-quarter numbers (slated for release next Thursday morning), PCP has seen a round of negative analyst attention. While Buckingham Research, UBS, and Sterne Agee kept their "buy" endorsements, all three slashed their respective price targets. Also, Canaccord Genuity reduced its price target by $34 to $242, and dropped its rating to "hold" from "buy," while Deutsche Bank cut its price target by $20 to $240, and maintained a "hold" opinion. As such, Precision Castparts Corp. was last seen 9.2% lower at $199.46, and earlier hit $186.17 -- its lowest mark since April 2013. PCP has underperformed the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by over 7 percentage points in the last three months, as well, so it's no wonder put buying has been popular. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the security's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.83 ranks in the 80th percentile of its annual range.

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