Analyst Upgrades: Expedia, Apple, and Coca-Cola

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on Expedia Inc (EXPE), Apple Inc. (AAPL), and Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc (CCE)

Jul 31, 2015 at 9:14 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on online travel portal Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE), MacBook maker Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), and soda bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc (NYSE:CCE). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on EXPE, AAPL, and CCE.

  • EXPE posted better-than-expected second-quarter earnings, and is being met with applause on Wall Street. No fewer than 11 brokerages have raised their price targets on the stock, paced by Benchmark and RBC -- which set the highest bar, at $140. From the looks of it, Expedia Inc will open at a record high, up nearly 8% in electronic trading following yesterday's close at $107.61. The shares have already rallied 26% year-to-date, ushered higher by their 60-day moving average. An unwinding of short interest could further boost the equity. Short interest spiked 26.2% during the latest reporting period, and now makes up 11.8% of EXPE's float -- which would take over eight sessions to cover, at typical daily volumes.

  • AAPL received a "buy" initiation and $145 price target at Nomura. The outlook is bold, considering the stock has never traded north of $134.54, and has pulled back 8% since its most recent high of $132.97, settling yesterday at $122.37. Weighing on Apple Inc. recently has been its mixed earnings report from earlier this month, in which the company forecast weaker-than-expected sales. Taking a step back, optimism is high among the brokerage bunch. Twenty of 33 analysts rate AAPL a "buy" or better, with not a single "sell" to be found. Plus, the stock's average 12-month price target of $147.72 stands in uncharted territory. A capitulation among these bulls -- in the form of future downgrades and/or price-target cuts -- could exacerbate selling pressure.

  • CCE is up 10% ahead of the bell, after the company's upbeat earnings results -- and rumors of a potential three-way merger -- prompted a trio of price-target hikes. Specifically, Jefferies upped its target to $46, UBS raised its expectations to $49, and J.P. Morgan Securities boosted its target to $54. Technically speaking, Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc has been churning in the $41-$46.50 range for most of 2015, but its expected breakout could lift the shares above their record high of $50 from last August. Option traders over the past month have been rolling the dice on upside. CCE's 20-day call/put volume ratio across the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) is 5.25, with more than five calls bought to open for every put.

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