Analyst Update: JPMorgan Chase & Co., Priceline Group Inc, and Fortinet Inc

Analysts adjusted their ratings and price targets on JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Priceline Group Inc (PCLN), and Fortinet Inc (FTNT)

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Jan 26, 2016 at 2:56 PM

Analysts are weighing in today on financial interest JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), travel specialist Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN), and cybersecurity firm Fortinet Inc (NASDAQ:FTNT). Here's a quick roundup of today's brokerage notes on JPM, PCLN, and FTNT.

  • JPM is trading 2.4% higher at $56.98, despite a price-target cut to $70 from $72 at Deutsche Bank. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reported this morning that it will make a $995 million payment to Ambac Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMBC) to settle a lawsuit, after Monday announcing a $1.42 billion settlement to resolve claims related to the Lehman Brothers collapse. JPMorgan said the Lehman settlement won't have a material impact on first-quarter earnings. The shares have lost 13.7% in 2016 -- despite a strong quarterly earnings showing earlier this month -- and are now bumping up against their 10-day moving average. But 13 out of 17 analysts still say the stock is a "buy" or better, without a "sell" on the books. And short interest on JPM has fallen 9.6% during the last two reporting periods, now accounting for just 0.8% of the stock's total available float, or about two days' worth of buying power, at typical volumes.

  • A price-target cut to $1,320 from $1,480 at J.P. Morgan Securities hasn't stopped PCLN from popping 0.6% to trade at $1,104.65, as the broader market continues its bounce today. While Priceline Group Inc -- like most stocks -- fell at the start of the year, the shares have been rebounding from their 11-month low of $1,039.26, seen last Wednesday, and are on pace to end atop their 10-day trendline for the second time in 2016. Near-term options traders have seemingly been hoping for a rally; PCLN has a Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.72 -- lower than 98% of all readings in the last year. Among options expiring in the next three months, traders have rarely held calls over puts by a wider margin.

  • Deutsche Bank downgraded FTNT to "hold" from "buy," slashing its price target on the stock to $34 from $49 ahead of the company's fourth-quarter earnings report, due after the close this Thursday. Fortinet Inc is off 13% so far this year, hitting a one-year low of $23.64 last Wednesday, and was last seen down 0.6% at $27.05. It appears option traders are pessimistic going into earnings, as FTNT's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 7.75 on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows nearly eight calls bought to open for each put over the last two weeks. Moreover, this ratio is higher than 96% of the past year's readings. This is no surprise, as the shares gapped notably lower after last quarter's report. Still, analysts rating the security a "buy" or better outrank "holds" 2-to-1.
For other stocks in analysts' crosshairs, read Analyst Upgrades: BlackRock, Inc., Hartford Financial Services Group Inc, and Southern Copper Corp and Analyst Downgrades: 3D Systems Corporation, Stratasys, Ltd., and Devon Energy Corp.

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