Analyst Upgrades: Apple Inc., Micron Technology, Inc., and Finisar Corporation

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Apple Inc. (AAPL), Micron Technology, Inc. (MU), and Finisar Corporation (FNSR)

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Sep 9, 2016 at 9:28 AM

Analysts are weighing in on Dow stock Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), semiconductor name Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU), and data communications specialist Finisar Corporation (NASDAQ:FNSR). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on AAPL, MU, and FNSR.

  • AAPL looks set to continue its slide, down 0.5% ahead of the bell, despite a price-target hike to $130 from $125 at Independent Research -- in annual-high territory. Additionally, RBC reiterated its "outperform" rating, saying it doesn't see Apple Inc.'s decision to not release first-weekend iPhone 7 sales as a negative. Weighing on the stock, it seems, are reports from a European Competition Commissioner that the probe into the company's tax arrangement with Ireland came after a tip off from the U.S. Senate.

    Optimistic options traders are likely sweating already, as Thursday's 2.6% skid to close at $105.52 put AAPL below a recent foothold at the $106 level. The shares could be in more even more pain should these bulls abandon their positions. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio sits at a top-heavy 1.94 -- in the 87th percentile of its annual range. 
  • MU is 0.7% lower in pre-market trading, even after Barclays increased its price target on the stock to $19, while J.P. Morgan Securities and UBS each raised their targets to $20. Additionally, Mizuho waxed optimistic about the firm's quarterly sales numbers, saying it expects them to arrive at the high end of previous guidance.

    Micron Technology, Inc. has had a solid year so far, up 23.2% as of Thursday's close at $17.45. In fact, the shares have outperformed the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by roughly 38 percentage points over the last three months. It's no surprise options traders have taken a bullish approach -- MU's 50-day call/put volume ratio on the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX sits higher than 90% of the past year's readings, at 4.25. Plus, traders could be getting quite a bargain, as near-term options are pricing in historically low volatility expectations, per the stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 37% -- an annual low. 
  • FNSR is set to soar 15% higher at the open -- on pace to tap a new two-year high -- after reporting strong quarterly earnings and giving an upbeat current-quarter outlook. The results earned Finisar Corporation upgrades to the equivalent of "buy" at MKM and William Blair, along with no fewer than 11 price-target hikes. This bullish analyst attention seems long overdue, considering the stock was already up 60% year-to-date, as of Thursday's close at $23.23. Yet only half of the brokerage firms tracking FNSR had given it a "buy" or better recommendation. And a short-squeeze situation could send the shares even higher, as these bearish positions represent six sessions' worth of buying power, at FNSR's average pace of trading.  
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