Analyst Upgrades: J C Penney Company Inc, Target Corporation, and Freeport-McMoRan Inc

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP), Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT), and Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE;FCX)

by Karee Venema

Published on May 16, 2016 at 9:27 AM

Analysts are weighing in on retail stocks J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP) and Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT), as well as mining firm Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on JCP, TGT, and FCX.

  • Citing a positive risk/reward set-up following last Friday's post-earnings plunge, Baird boosted its rating on JCP stock to "outperform" and lifted its price target to $12 from $11. This appears to be overshadowing price-target cuts from Cowen and Company (to $9), UBS (to $7), and Citigroup (to $8), with shares of JCP up 2.7% in electronic trading. Longer term, the retail stock has surrendered nearly 37% since topping out at a two-year high of $11.99 in early March, and settled Friday at $7.58 -- its lowest weekly close since Feb. 19. Short sellers, meanwhile, have been increasing their bearish exposure at a rapid-fire rate. Short interest on J C Penney Company Inc jumped 25.5% in the two most recent reporting periods, and now accounts for more than 31% of the stock's available float.

  • Deutsche Bank raised its price target on TGT to $84 from $81 ahead of the company's Wednesday morning turn in the earnings confessional. The equity doesn't appear ready to capitalize on the upbeat analyst attention, though, with shares of TGT down 0.4% ahead of the bell. On the charts, the stock suffered along with the broader retail sector last week, shedding 6.2% to land at $73.88. Options traders have been betting on more downside, too. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), Target Corporation's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 2.06 sits just 6 percentage points from a 52-week peak.

  • FCX is poised to pop more than 3% out of the gate, after Cowen and Company raised its price target to $15 from $10. Not only does this upbeat outlook represent expected upside of 44% to last Friday's close at $10.41, it rests in territory not charted since last July. More broadly speaking, FCX has made some wild swings in 2016, resulting in a year-to-date advance of 54% -- versus a much-slimmer 0.1% gain for the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX). In spite of this, Freeport-McMoRan Inc's (NYSE:FCX) Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) is docked at a lofty 99, meaning the options market has tended to underprice the equity's ability to make big moves on the charts over the past 12 months.
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