Analyst Upgrades: Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Alcoa Inc, and Johnson & Johnson

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA), Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA), and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)

by Josh Selway

Published on Dec 7, 2015 at 9:43 AM

Analysts are weighing in on online retailer Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA), aluminum giant Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA), and drugmaker Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on BABA, AA, and JNJ. 

  • Deutsche Bank this morning raised its price target by $1 to $99 on BABA, while maintaining its "buy" assessment. Most of its analyst peers are also in the bulls' corner, with 16 of 19 covering brokerage firms saying Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is a "buy" or better, with not a single "sell" rating on the books. This group obviously hasn't been swayed by the shares' underperformance this year. By the numbers, BABA has dropped 18.2% in 2015 to trade at $84.99. 
  • AA is struggling out of the gate, despite a bullish write-up in Barron's (subscription required). The publication suggested the shares could rise almost 50% due to the company's decision to split into two publicly traded entities, elaborating, "Lackluster market reaction obscures compelling opportunity to buy Alcoa stock at a discount to its intrinsic value of more than 35 pct." Option bears, however, are hoping this is not the case. Alcoa Inc's 10-day put/call volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) stands at 1.04, which tops 88% of all readings from the past year. On the charts, AA was last seen 0.1% lower at $9.33 -- down almost 41% on the year. 
  • JNJ is 0.1% higher at $103.07 on news that its cancer drug, Imbruvica, outperformed chemotherapy in a late-stage study by reducing the risk of death and disease progression. Jefferies has since come in and raised its price target to $95, though that's still below current trading levels. Johnson & Johnson is slightly lower on a year-to-date basis, and short-term speculators have thus taken a put-skewed approach. JNJ's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) stands at 1.53 -- outranking 82% of similar readings from the past 12 months. 
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