Analyst Upgrades: McDonald's Corporation, Fortinet Inc, and Verizon Communications Inc.

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on McDonald's Corporation (MCD), Fortinet Inc (FTNT), and Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ)

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Mar 31, 2016 at 9:25 AM

Analysts are weighing in on restaurant chain McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD), cybersecurity stock Fortinet Inc (NASDAQ:FTNT), and telecommunications firm Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on MCD, FTNT, and VZ.
 
  • After hitting a record high of $126.10 on Wednesday, MCD received a price-target hike to $135 from $132 at RBC. Additionally, the company announced this morning that it plans to open 1,500 new locations in China, Hong Kong, and South Korea -- adding to the 2,800 restaurants McDonald's Corporation already operates in the region. Against this backdrop, MCD is poised to hit a fresh all-time high out of the gate, after settling at $125.83 yesterday. Meanwhile, despite MCD's recent strength on the charts, analysts are still rather stingy with their ratings. A new round of bullish brokerage notes could help fuel MCD's fire.
  • FTNT is up 1.9% ahead of the bell after closing at $29.40 Wednesday, after Cowen and Company raised its rating to "outperform" from "market perform" and its price target to $37 from $35. Fortinet Inc has made a modest rebound since hitting an annual low of $23.16 in early February, and is attempting to stage a notable breakout above its 80-day moving average -- a trendline that's worked against FTNT since last September. In the options pits, traders have bought to open 2.10 FTNT puts for each call over the past two weeks on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) -- a ratio in the 80th percentile of its annual range.
  • VZ touched a 15-year high of $54.37 on Wednesday before settling at $54.04. This morning, the shares are pulling back from this notable milestone -- 0.3% lower in electronic trading -- despite a price-target hike to $54 from $48 at Baird. Longer term, Verizon Communications Inc. has been marching steadily higher since late January, and is up nearly 17% so far in 2016. Still, 11 out of 26 analysts rate VZ a "hold" or "strong sell." Option traders have been unusually bearish, too. At the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX, the security's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 1.00 is higher than 82% of all readings taken in the past year.
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