Analyst Upgrades: Apple, Juniper Networks, Electronic Arts

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

Jan 28, 2015 at 9:52 AM
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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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