Analyst Upgrades: Ford, Electronic Arts, McCormick & Co

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA), and McCormick & Company, Incorporated (NYSE:MKC)

Jun 24, 2015 at 9:25 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on automaker Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), Madden NFL marketer Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA), and spice specialist McCormick & Company, Incorporated (NYSE:MKC). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on F, EA, and MKC.

  • F, which just announced a car-sharing pilot program, received a bullish nod from Goldman Sachs. Specifically, the brokerage firm said it prefers Ford Motor Company to General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), due to better profitability prospects next year, and also upgraded the former to "buy" from "neutral." The note has F sitting 1.6% higher ahead of the bell, and on track to open just above its year-to-date breakeven mark. Yesterday, the shares settled at $15.29, and atop their 32-day moving average for the first time since late March. Meanwhile, at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), traders have been buying to open puts over calls at an accelerated clip in recent weeks. In fact, F's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.49 outstrips 94% of comparable readings from the past year.

  • EA is poised to pop 2% at the open, after seeing its price target lifted to $75 and $80, respectively, at Brean Capital and Jefferies. Jefferies also boosted its opinion on the stock to "buy" from "hold." Longer term, Electronic Arts Inc. has been a beast, surging 41.6% year-to-date to trade at $66.58, and touching a 10-year high of $67.49 yesterday. Nevertheless, eight of 19 covering analysts maintain tepid "hold" ratings, and the equity's average 12-month price target of $67.13 lies just overhead. This could pave the way for future upgrades and/or price-target boosts.

  • Fresh off an agreement to buy barbeque sauce brand Stubb's, MKC was upgraded to "outperform" from "market perform" at Bernstein, which also raised its price target to $93 from $81. Overall, the shares have been solid in 2015, muscling 8% higher to $80.26 -- just below its all-time peak of $80.64 from Monday. Traders on the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX are eyeing more upside, too, buying to open 17 calls for each put during the last 50 sessions. This ratio ranks in the bullishly skewed 92nd percentile of its annual range. Looking ahead, McCormick & Company, Incorporated is scheduled to report earnings one week from today.

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