Analyst Upgrades: Splunk Inc, Newfield Exploration Co., and Kraft Heinz Co

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Splunk Inc (SPLK), Newfield Exploration Co. (NFX), and Kraft Heinz Co (KHC)

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Feb 26, 2016 at 9:29 AM

Analysts are weighing in on software interest Splunk Inc (NASDAQ:SPLK), energy stock Newfield Exploration Co. (NYSE:NFX), and food and beverage concern Kraft Heinz Co (NASDAQ:KHC). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on SPLK, NFX, and KHC.

  • SPLK is headed 16.4% higher at the opening bell, thanks to a strong showing in the earnings confessional and increased revenue outlook. No fewer than 12 analysts have already adjusted their price targets on Splunk Inc -- which closed at $38.53 yesterday -- including a hike to $72 at Maxim Group. The stock has been on the mend since touching a three-year low earlier this month, but could still stand to benefit from an unwinding of bearish sentiment in the options pits. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), SPLK's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 1.36 is higher than 90% of all readings taken in the past year.
  • Suntrust Robinson upgraded NFX to "buy" from "neutral" this morning, boosting the shares 3.2% in electronic trading. Newfield Exploration Co. closed at $24.41 Thursday -- a premium to the company's recently announced public offering -- after a better-than-expected earnings reportNear-term bears could be shaken if NFX continues its rebound off two-year lows. The equity has a Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 2.26, in the put-skewed 93rd percentile of its annual range.
  • KHC is poised to pop 5.4%, after reporting strong fourth-quarter earnings and declaring a regular quarterly dividend. J.P. Morgan Securities raised its rating on Kraft Heinz Co to "overweight" from "neutral," while five brokerages have already increased their price targets on the stock, with the majority landing in record-high territory. But while KHC has outperformed the S&P 500 Index (SPX) over the last three months, option traders have continued favoring bearish bets. At the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX, traders have bought to open nearly three KHC puts for each call during the last 10 trading days. Today's move could have bears hitting the bricks, sending the shares within striking distance of their all-time high of $81.20, seen last July.
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