Analyst Update: Caterpillar, JPMorgan Chase, Visa

Analysts adjusted their ratings on Caterpillar Inc. (CAT), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), and Visa Inc (V)

Apr 7, 2015 at 11:27 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on construction equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT), as well as fellow blue chips JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) and Visa Inc (NYSE:V). Here's a quick look at today's brokerage notes on CAT, JPM, and V.

  • Along with American Express Company (NYSE:AXP), CAT is among the 10 Dow components in the red. The shares are 0.6% lower at $80.97, after Baird lowered its price target on the stock by $1 to $80 while keeping its "neutral" rating. The cut is unsurprising, given that the shares of Caterpillar Inc. have fallen 11.5% year-to-date, in addition to hitting a three-year low of $78.19 on March 13. The brokerage bunch is lukewarm on the equity, as 68% of covering analysts have doled out tepid "hold" opinions. What's more, CAT's average 12-month price target of $84.05 is spitting distance away from current trading levels.

  • Bernstein and Nomura weighed in on JPM, with the former raising its rating to "outperform" from "market perform" and its price target to $70 from $67, and the latter hiking its price target to $71 from $69. Furthermore, Bernstein waxed optimistic on JPM's long-term prospects for improving core trading revenues and additional cost leverage, and both new price targets represent uncharted territory for JPM. Today, the shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co. are up 1% to $61.07, bringing their year-to-date loss to 2.4%. Sentiment in the options pits has been fairly optimistic, as JPM's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 1.55 stands in the 67th percentile of its annual range. Looking elsewhere, a majority of covering analysts are bullish on the equity, as 85% rate the stock a "buy" or better.

  • Bernstein also revised its price target on V, hiking it to $77 from $70.75 -- in record territory for split-adjusted Visa -- while underscoring an "outperform" rating. At last check, the shares of Visa Inc were up 1.3% to $66.06, putting the stock 0.8% in the black for 2015. Option buyers have grown increasingly bullish, as V's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 1.66 ranks higher than 95% of all other equivalent readings taken over the past year. Echoing this indicator is the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.79, which reads in the 19th percentile of its annual range. Simply stated, short-term speculators have rarely been this call heavy.

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