Analyst Upgrades: Apple, Freeport-McMoRan, Conatus

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on Apple Inc. (AAPL), Freeport-McMoRan Inc (FCX), and Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc (CNAT)

Apr 28, 2015 at 9:24 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on Mac maker Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), natural resource company Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX), and biotech firm Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CNAT). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on AAPL, FCX, and CNAT.

  • AAPL is feeling the love once again this morning, after the company reported blowout fiscal second-quarter results -- powered by strong iPhone 6 sales and a record quarter for the iTunes App Store. No fewer than 13 brokerage firms raised their price targets on the stock, with the most bullish forecast coming from Cantor, which upped its target to $195 from $180. As such, Apple Inc. -- which has already advanced more than 20% year-to-date to sit at $132.65 -- is pointed 1.5% higher ahead of the bell, and on track to notch a fresh record high. In the options pits, short-term traders have been unusually call-skewed toward the equity. AAPL's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.57 ranks lower than 89% of comparable readings from the past year.

  • FCX was upgraded to "overweight" at Morgan Stanley, which said, "Even if copper prices collapse to near marginal cost, we don't think the company will burn cash in 2016-17, hence 2015 is the only 'bridge year' when the company burns cash." The bullish note is giving the stock a boost in electronic trading, as Freeport-McMoRan Inc is perched 2.8% higher. Longer term, though, the shares have struggled -- down 35.6% year-over-year to trade at $21.82. In recent weeks, traders at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) have blazed a bullish path toward FCX. The equity's 10-day call/put volume ratio across the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) is 2.63, which ranks in the 73rd percentile of its annual range.

  • Brean Capital initiated coverage on CNAT with a "buy" rating and $13 price target -- more than double the stock's close at $6.35 yesterday, and territory not charted since March 2014. This bullish note is somewhat surprising, given the shares' 9.3% year-to-date decline. However, there's plenty of optimism flowing toward Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc, with 80% of covering analysts calling the stock a "strong buy." Plus, the average 12-month price target is even higher than Brean Capital's, at $13.67. Ahead of the bell, CNAT is 2.7% higher.

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