Ford, Fortinet, Visa Upgraded

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on F, FTNT, and V

Alex Eppstein
Feb 3, 2017 at 9:58 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on automaker Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), cybersecurity stock Fortinet Inc (NASDAQ:FTNT), and credit card giant Visa Inc (NYSE:V). Here's a roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on F, FTNT, and V.

Ford Accelerates on Upgrade

F has added 1.4% out of the chute at $12.45, boosted by an upgrade to "overweight" from "equal weight" at Barclays -- which also lifted its price target to $15 from $13. According to the brokerage firm, the automaker is better equipped than its competitors to handle a potential border tax. Separately, despite a safety recall in South Africa, F said it is "encouraged by and grateful for the continued customer confidence in the Ford brand."  Technically speaking, the stock hurdled its 80-day moving average in early December, but has been chopping atop the flat trendline ever since, with sharper rallies rejected by the 320-day moving average. Today notwithstanding, the brokerage bunch is bearish toward Ford shares, with two-thirds of covering analysts handing out "hold" or worse assessments. Conversely, options traders have gravitated toward calls over puts.

Fortinet Flies to New High on Upbeat Earnings

FTNT has jumped 14.1% to trade at $37.87, and earlier hit an annual high of $37.98. Lifting the stock was the company's blowout earnings report, which was followed by Piper Jaffray's upgrade to "overweight" from "neutral," and at least 14 price-target hikes. Citigroup was the only firm to break from the pack, cutting its target to $145 from $155 -- though the revised target is still, by far, the highest of the group, and nearly triple the shares' record high. Meanwhile, a number of short sellers are probably kicking rocks. In the last two reporting periods, short interest on FTNT shot 143.4% higher to 7.5 million shares. A capitulation among these bears could add more fuel to the stock's fire.

Visa Runs to Record High

V is fresh off a record high of $86.82, and was last seen up 5.3% at $86.64, after a strong turn in the earnings confessional. Wall Street is responding, too, with at least seven analysts hiking their price targets -- the highest mark being set by Morgan Stanley, at $106. Given V's prolonged technically tenacity, it shouldn't come as a surprise to know that the brokerage community was bullish heading into last night's quarterly report. By the numbers, 21 analysts maintained "buy" or better endorsements, compared to just three "holds" and not a single "sell" opinion.

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