Analyst Upgrades: MasterCard Incorporated, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., and Lakeland Industries, Inc.

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on Mastercard Inc (MA), Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (TTWO), and Lakeland Industries, Inc. (LAKE)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on May 19, 2015 at 9:07 AM

Analysts are weighing in today on credit card issue Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA), gaming giant Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO), and safety equipment producer Lakeland Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:LAKE). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on MA, TTWO, and LAKE.

  • MA saw its rating raised to "overweight" from "sector weight" at Pacific Crest, sending the shares nearly 1% higher ahead of the bell. The boost is well-deserved, considering the stock has advanced 26% year-over-year to rest at $93.08 -- just a chip-shot from Friday's all-time high of $94.50. However, there's still plenty of doubt surrounding Mastercard Inc in its options pits. The equity's 10-day put/call volume ratio across the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHL)X is 1.93, with long puts nearly doubling calls. What's more, this ratio sits just 2 percentage points from a 52-week high. 

  • TTWO is perched 7.2% higher in electronic trading, following a fiscal fourth-quarter earnings beat. The report is being met with optimism on the Street, with Sterne Agee CRT upgrading the stock to "buy" from "neutral," and Wedbush boosting its price target to $26 from $24, stating the company "is definitely on the right track." However, Brean Capital and Baird reduced their respective price targets to $32 and $33. Technically speaking, things haven't been pretty for Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., which has shed 13.7% year-to-date to land at $24.20. Accordingly, short-term options traders have been relatively bearish toward the equity. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.80 outranks more than two-thirds of all comparable readings from the past 12 months, suggesting speculators have been more put-focused than usual, looking at options with a shelf-life of three months or less.

  • Craig-Hallum lifted its price target on LAKE to $19 from $17, and reiterated its "buy" recommendation, following the company's fiscal fourth-quarter earnings. Such optimism isn't reflected among short sellers, as nearly one-tenth of the equity's float is sold short -- an amount that would take more than one week to repurchase, at Lakeland Industries, Inc.'s average daily trading pace. On the charts, though, the stock has been a solid performer. Year-to-date, LAKE is sitting on an 11.7% lead at $10.47, and jumped 8.2% yesterday ahead of earnings. Ahead of the open, the security is up another 5%.

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