Analyst Upgrades: Lumber Liquidators, NetApp, Akamai

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc (LL), NetApp Inc. (NTAP), and Akamai Technologies, Inc. (AKAM)

Aug 20, 2015 at 9:03 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on flooring expert Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc (NYSE:LL), data storage firm NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP), and cloud concern Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKAM). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on LL, NTAP, and AKAM.

  • Cantor Fitzgerald boosted its rating on LL to "buy" from "hold," and its price target to $18 from $15. This, despite the stock's 78.6% year-to-date deficit to trade at $14.21, and looming overhead resistance at its 20-day moving average. Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc is getting a lift from the bullish note, up 6.6% ahead of the bell. In general, though, the brokerage bunch is pretty ambivalent toward the shares, with 11 of 12 doling out lukewarm "hold" recommendations. Elsewhere, short sellers have piled on the underperformer, as 34.5% of LL's float is sold short -- representing eight times the stock's average daily trading volume.

  • NTAP is up 6% in pre-market trading, after the company topped fiscal first-quarter earnings and sales expectations last night, and provided upbeat guidance. Further fanning the bullish flames is a series of price-target hikes, with D.A. Davidson setting the highest benchmark, at $40. Today's expected bull gap is a welcome sight for shareholders, who have watched NetApp Inc. tumble 28% in 2015 to trade at $29.78, just off yesterday's two-year low of $29.53. Option traders, on the other hand, are counting on more downside. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), NTAP has accrued a 50-day put/call volume ratio of 2.75, which ranks 4 percentage points from a 12-month high.

  • Pacific Crest resumed coverage on AKAM with an "overweight" endorsement and $91 price target -- a 24.6% premium to Wednesday's close at $73.06, and in territory not charted in 15 years. This bullish attention is par for the course, as far as brokerages are concerned. In fact, 65% of analysts rate Akamai Technologies, Inc. a "strong buy," with not a single "sell" rating in sight. The optimism is well-deserved. AKAM sports a solid year-to-date lead of 16% -- despite a recent earnings miss -- and has outperformed the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) over the last two months.

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