Analyst Upgrades: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Micron Technology, Inc., and Visa Inc

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT), Micron Technology, Inc. (MU), and Visa Inc (V)

by Celeste Taylor

Published on Jun 6, 2016 at 10:28 AM

Analysts are weighing in on retailer Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), semiconductor stock Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU), and credit card concern Visa Inc (NYSE:V). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on WMT, MU, and V.

  • WMT is 0.6% higher at $71.26 -- in 2016-high territory -- following a Jefferies upgrade from "neutral" to "buy," and price-target hike to $82 from $60. In fact, analyst Daniel Binder listed 10 reasons to buy WMT, opining that the "battleship is starting to turn," and that "expectations for a sustained turnaround are still not that high and we are in the early innings, so there is room for shares to move higher." Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. shares have risen 16% since the beginning of 2016, as a solid earnings report helped the blue chip defy a broader retail-sector slump. Nevertheless, short interest in the stock has risen 29.9% over the last two reporting periods, and WMT's 10-day put/call volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) of 1.7 sits in the 90th percentile of annual readings, suggesting a strong bearish bias among option buyers. A mass exodus of bears could help WMT extend its upward momentum.
  • MU is up 0.6% at $12.94, after a Goldman Sachs price-target hike to $13 from $10. The semiconductor stock has been on a tear lately, up over 25% within the last month, thanks to an improved outlook on demand for MU's DRAM chips. MU is now approaching its 200-day moving average, which has contained shares since February 2015. Micron Technology, Inc. has outperformed the greater S&P 500 Index (SPX) by 26 percentage points over the last 20 sessions , although with a 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) of 73, the stock is hovering in "overbought" territory, suggesting the possibility of a short-term breather in the near future.

  • is trading at $80.43, up 0.6%, after J.P. Morgan Securities resumed coverage of the shares with an "overweight" rating and $88 price target. V has jumped over 4% within the past month, and is within a chip-shot of its all-time high of $81.73, tagged in mid-April. Visa Inc option bulls have been active, with V's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 2.2 sitting in the 82nd percentile of its annual range. Near-term options are a relative bargain at the moment, with V's current Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 15% sitting at its lowest level in the past 12 months, suggesting traders are pricing in historically low volatility expectations.
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