Analyst Upgrades: Google, Foot Locker, The Fresh Market

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on Google Inc (GOOGL), Foot Locker, Inc. (FL), and The Fresh Market Inc (TFM)

Mar 6, 2015 at 9:20 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on tech titan Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), athletic apparel retailer Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE:FL), and high-end grocer The Fresh Market Inc (NASDAQ:TFM). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on GOOGL, FL, and TFM.

  • Citigroup raised its price target on GOOGL to $682 from $629 -- and underscored its "buy" rating -- representing expected upside of 17.3% to last night's close at $581.43, as well as a move into territory yet to be charted. Technically speaking, the stock has been gaining ground since hitting an annual low of $490.91 in mid-January -- up 18.4% -- after announcing several big-time partnerships, most recently with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). Meanwhile, short-term speculators have shown a preference for calls over puts, as evidenced by Google Inc's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.81, which indicates call open interest outweighs put open interest among options slated to expire in three months or less.

  • To the dismay of options traders, FL is up 5% in electronic trading -- and poised for a new record high -- after the company's stronger-than-forecast fourth-quarter earnings report was met with a price-target hike to $65 from $63 at Deutsche Bank. On the charts, the stock has been a long-term outperformer, boasting a 33.5% year-over-year lead. Against this backdrop, most analysts maintain a "strong buy" rating on the shares -- 11 to be specific, versus four "holds" or worse. However, the average 12-month price target of $60.60 stands at a slim 6.3% premium to Thursday's settlement at $57.03, meaning more upwardly revised price targets could be on the horizon.

  • TFM received a bevy of bullish brokerage attention, after the grocery chain unveiled a fourth-quarter profit beat and encouraging guidance, and said it would shutter its remaining stores in California. Included in the bunch were BMO, which boosted its price target by $5 to $49, and J.P. Morgan Securities, which upped its target price to $46 from $44. Both brokerage firms underscored their equivalent of an "outperform" rating. After a slow start to the year, TFM has been making technical amends since bottoming out a year-to-date low of $35.51 on Feb. 10 -- up 11.6% at $39.63, thanks to a bounce off its 120-day moving average. Not everyone is convinced The Fresh Market Inc can sustain this momentum, though. Short interest jumped 7.7% in the most recent reporting period, and now accounts for roughly one-quarter of TFM's available float. What's more, it would take almost a month to cover these shorted shares, at the stock's average daily pace of trading. In electronic trading, TFM is pointed 5% higher.

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