Analyst Upgrades: Fortinet, Inc., Lam Research Corporation, and Encana Corporation

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on Fortinet Inc (NASDAQ:FTNT), Lam Research Corporation (NASDAQ:LRCX), and Encana Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ECA)

by Karee Venema

Published on Apr 21, 2015 at 9:39 AM
Updated on Apr 21, 2015 at 10:03 AM

Analysts are weighing in today on network security expert Fortinet Inc (NASDAQ:FTNT), semiconductor equipment specialist Lam Research Corporation (NASDAQ:LRCX), and oil-and-gas issue Encana Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ECA). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on FTNT, LAM, and ECA.

  • FTNT is up 11.5% out of the gate -- and hit a record high of $38.98 --  after the firm's better-than-expected first-quarter earnings was met with a round of upbeat analyst attention. Included in the bunch was Piper Jaffray, which raised its price target by $7 to $45, saying "Record billings growth (in Q1) suggests the company is well-positioned to continue outperforming expectations going forward." JMP Securities and Deutsche Bank also boosted their price targets to $45, representing expected upside of 17% to the stock's current perch at $38.60 -- and a trek into uncharted waters. Already this year, the shares have added nearly 26%, thanks to a pair of sharp bounces off their rising 60-day moving average, and a continued rise could shake some of the weaker bearish hands loose. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), Fortinet Inc's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.98 ranks higher than 93% of all similar readings taken in the past year. In other words, puts have been bought to open over calls at a near-annual-high clip.
  • Deutsche Bank -- in addition to a number of other analysts -- also weighed in on LRCX, after it took its turn on the earnings stage. Specifically, the brokerage firm upped its price target on the shares to $100 from $95, after the company's fiscal third-quarter earnings exceeded expectations. Against this backdrop, the stock is 11.5% higher at the open to trade at $80.25, and back into the black on a year-to-date basis. On the sentiment front, optimism has been running high toward Lam Research Corporation. In the options pits, the equity's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 4.24 rests in the 88th annual percentile. Elsewhere, 93% of analysts maintain a "buy" or better rating toward the shares, with not a single "sell" to be found.
  • Morgan Stanley raised its outlook on ECA to "overweight" from "equal weight," and increased its price target to $18 from $15, following reports the company is considering selling its natural gas properties in Louisiana, which are valued at roughly $1 billion. Also chiming in on the stock was CIBC, which upped its price target to $15 from $13. Technically speaking, ECA has been a long-term laggard, shedding 45% since hitting a two-year high of $24.83 in June to linger near $13.69. Additionally, the equity's most recent rally attempt was quickly contained by its 120-day moving average, currently located at $13.83. Meanwhile, short-term speculators are more put-heavy than usual toward Encana Corporation. The equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.51 arrives higher than 90% of all comparable readings taken in the last 12 months.


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