Analyst Upgrades: Costco Wholesale, LinkedIn, and ICE

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST), LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD), and Intercontinental Exchange Inc (NYSE:ICE)

Jul 10, 2015 at 9:52 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on discount retailer Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST), professional networking name LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD), and global exchange operator Intercontinental Exchange Inc (NYSE:ICE). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on COST, LNKD, and ICE.

  • Oppenheimer upped its outlook on COST to "outperform" from "perform," and set its price target at $160 -- in never-before-seen territory -- saying it sees "an opportunity in [the] shares for intermediate to longer term-oriented investors." Against this backdrop, the stock is up 2% at the open to trade at $142.27, muscling back atop its year-to-date breakeven mark of $141.75. On the sentiment front, both Ryan Gosling and option traders have recently expressed disdain for Costco Wholesale Corporation. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), COST's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.97 ranks in the 72nd annual percentile. Simply stated, puts have been bought to open over calls at a faster-than-usual clip.

  • LNKD hasn't done much on the charts since getting an Icahn-related pop in early June, spending its time churning between $202 and $220. Mizuho Securities thinks this could all change, and named LNKD its "Top Mid-Cap Internet Stock," initiated coverage of the shares with a "buy" rating, and set a $240 price target -- representing expected upside of 13.9% to the stock's present price of $210.72. Speculators, meanwhile, have shown a preference for calls over puts among options set to expire in three months or less. LinkedIn Corp's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.82 rests lower than 83% of all similar readings taken in the past year, meaning short-term traders are more call-skewed than usual.

  • Analysts have trained their attention to investment stocks today, and for ICE, this resulted in Deutsche Bank upping its rating to "buy" from "hold" and its price target to $252 from $247. Elsewhere, Barclays raised its price target to $267 from $260, while J.P. Morgan Securities lowered its target price to $249 from $252. Each of the price targets sits higher than ICE's current perch at $229.84, and represents a record high. Widening the sentiment scope, most analysts are upbeat toward Intercontinental Exchange Inc. Of the 10 brokerage firms covering the shares, seven maintain a "buy" or better rating. Plus, the average 12-month price target of $255.15 stands at an 11% premium to current trading levels.

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