Analyst Upgrades: Southwest Airlines Co, Whole Foods Market, Inc., and Zumiez Inc.

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on Southwest Airlines Co (LUV), Whole Foods Market, Inc. (WFM), and Zumiez Inc. (ZUMZ)

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Jan 7, 2016 at 9:59 AM

Analysts are weighing in on airline interest Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV), health food grocer Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM), and apparel retailer Zumiez Inc. (NASDAQ:ZUMZ). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on LUV, WFM, and ZUMZ.

  • Morgan Stanley raised its rating on LUV to "equal weight" from "underweight" this morning, sending the shares up 0.4% to $43.03. Southwest Airlines Co. has dropped 16% since hitting an all-time high of $51.34 one month ago. Option traders appear ready for another rally, though, with bullish bets flying off the shelves the past two weeks. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), LUV has a 10-day call/put volume ratio of 5.22 -- higher than 78% of the past year's readings. This ratio is even more impressive when compared to the stock's 50-day call/put volume ratio, which is in the lowest percentile for the year, at 1.17.
  • WFM is down 0.6% at $33.23, as broad-market headwinds overshadow a price-target boost to $31 at Jefferies. Healthy resolution makers haven't helped Whole Foods Market, Inc. to start 2016 particularly strong, as the security tries to hold its ground above a four-year low of $28.73, tapped in early November. Analysts have not been impressed with the stock, as 18 out of 22 brokerages are sitting on tepid "hold" ratings, and the equity's 12-month consensus price target of $30.54 is below WFM's current value. Traders have been eyeing new lows, as well -- more than 10% of the stock's available float is currently sold short.
  • ZUMZ is soaring 22% at $18.36, as shareholders and analysts respond to the company's boosted current-quarter guidance. ZUMZ scored three price-target increases, at Mizuho (to $16), Suntrust Robinson (to $16), and Credit Suisse (to $15). Zumiez Inc. had a dismal 2015, surrendering more than 60% of its value. Unsurprisingly, only two out of 14 analysts give the stock a rating better than "hold," and option traders have been bearish in the extreme. On the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX, seven ZUMZ puts have been bought to open for each call over the last 10 trading days.
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