Analyst Upgrades: Apple Inc., Juniper Networks, Inc., and Electronic Arts Inc

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on Apple Inc. (AAPL), Juniper Networks, Inc. (JNPR), and Electronic Arts Inc. (EA)

by Karee Venema

Published on Jan 28, 2015 at 9:52 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Analysts are weighing in today on tech titan Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), network infrastructure specialist Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR), and video game guru Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on AAPL, JNPR, and EA.

  • AAPL has popped 8.3% out of the gate, after the company posted better-than-expected fiscal first-quarter earnings thanks to record iPhone sales. Wall Street has taken kindly to the news, with Apple Inc. receiving no fewer than 13 price-target hikes, including one to $160 from $143 at Cantor, and one to $130 from $125 at UBS, with both brokerage firms underscoring their "buy" ratings. While AAPL has been a long-term technical standout -- and is up 50.8% year-over-year -- the shares had more recently been lingering in the $106-to-$114 range, since topping out at an all-time peak of $119.75 in late November. Options traders have kept the faith, though. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the stock's 50-day call/put volume ratio of 2.39 ranks in the bullishly skewed 71st annual percentile.

  • JNPR received a bevy of bullish brokerage notes, as aggressive cost-cutting measures helped the company report stronger-than-forecast fourth-quarter earnings. Included in the bunch was a price-target hike to $25 from $22 at J.P. Morgan Securities, as well as an upwardly revised price target by $2 to $27 at Barclays, with both brokerage firms reiterating their "overweight" recommendations. On the charts, JNPR is up 6.7% at $23.30, and is poised to topple its 200-day moving average for the first time since July. However, the stock is still off 18% from its mid-February high of $28.39, and sentiment is tilted toward the skeptical side. Two-thirds of covering analysts maintain a tepid "hold" rating on the shares, while the average 12-month price target of $22.72 stands at a discount to JNPR's current price. Elsewhere, Juniper Networks, Inc.'s 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 1.76 ranks in the 88th annual percentile.

  • EA is up 9.5% at the open to trade at $53.02 -- and hit a six-year high of $53.06 -- after the company's better-than-expected fiscal third-quarter earnings report was met with a round of positive analyst notes. Benchmark, for example, boosted its price target by $7.30 to $61.68 -- territory not charted since November 2005 -- while Brean Capital raised its target price by $3 to $57. Heading into today's session, the stock was up a modest 3% on the year, yet short-term speculators have shown a distinct preference for puts over calls. In fact, Electronic Arts Inc.'s Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.72 ranks just 1 percentage point from a 52-week peak.

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