Analyst Upgrades: Bank of America Corp, Gap Inc, and Vivint Solar Inc

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Bank of America Corp (BAC), Gap Inc (GPS), and Vivint Solar Inc (VSLR)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Oct 7, 2016 at 9:12 AM

Analysts are weighing in on financial firm Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), retail stock Gap Inc (NYSE:GPS), and alternative energy name Vivint Solar Inc (NYSE:VSLR). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on BAC, GPS, and VSLR.

  • J.P. Morgan Securities lifted its price target on BAC to $18 from $16.50 -- in territory not charted since last November. The stock closed yesterday at $16.22, and is lower on a year-to-date basis. However, since bottoming in February at $10.99, Bank of America Corp shares have been on fire, tacking on 47.6%. Not surprisingly, today's bullish brokerage note echoes the optimism already present on Wall Street. Specifically, 13 of 18 analysts rate BAC a "buy" or better, with not a single "sell" opinion to be found.

  • GPS is pointed 6.8% higher in pre-market trading, benefiting from a round of positive analyst attention -- as brokerage firms react to the retailer's lower-than-expected drop in September same-store sales. Specifically, Deutsche Bank boosted its rating to "hold" from "sell" and its price target to $24 from $18, while Jefferies raised its price target to $32 from $30 -- waters not explored since last September. On the charts, Gap Inc shares could definitely use some help, as they've been struggling since topping out around $27 in late August, closing yesterday at $22.78. In the options pits, meanwhile, short-term traders are extremely put-focused. GPS boasts a top-heavy Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 3.50, which sits just 2 percentage points from a 12-month high.

  • Just like a number of solar stocks yesterday, VSLR is in the Street's bullish crosshairs. Specifically, Goldman Sachs upped its opinion on the shares to "neutral" from "sell," lifting them 4.7% ahead of the open. Longer term, though, Vivint Solar Inc has been a major dud, shedding roughly two-thirds of its value in 2016 to trade at $3.18. Short sellers have been turning up the heat, too. Nearly 11 million shares are sold short, representing an all-time high, and it would take close to four weeks to cover these positions, at VSLR's average daily trading volume. 
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