Apple, Micron, Transocean Upgraded

Apple Inc. (AAPL), Micron Technology, Inc. (MU), and Transocean LTD (RIG) received praise from the brokerage bunch

Karee Venema
Feb 27, 2017 at 9:29 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on iPhone parent Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), chipmaker Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU), and energy stock Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG). Here's a roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on AAPL, MU, and RIG shares.

Buffett Likes Apple Shares

After closing Friday at $136.66, AAPL stock is trading up 0.3% ahead of the bell -- and could take out last Tuesday's record high of $137.48. Boosting the Dow stock is a price-target hike to $150 from $135 at Mizuho, which forecast a "significant product cycle" later this year. Additionally, the shares may also be reacting to comments from Warren Buffett, who said that he personally acquired 120 million Apple Inc. shares last month "because he liked it." The Oracle of Omaha also said the company has "an enormously useful product to people that use it." Already in 2017, Apple shares have surged 18%, but there's more room for analysts to upwardly revise their ratings on the outperforming stock. Though 24 brokerages maintain a "buy" or better recommendation, seven still rate AAPL a "hold" or "strong sell."

Micron Stock Set to Pop on Bullish Baird Outlook

MU is up 1.2% in electronic trading after Baird upped its price target on the stock to $35 from $25, citing strong DRAM/NAND trends. This projected price action is just more of the same for the tech shares, which have more than doubled year-over-year to trade at $23.72. Plus, a recent pullback from MU's Feb. 2 annual high of $25.31 found a quick foothold atop the stock's rising 50-day moving average. Options traders have been betting on even more upside for Micron Technology, Inc., buying to open calls over puts at a rapid-fire rate. Specifically, MU stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 5.20 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) rests in the elevated 79th percentile of its 12-month range.

Instinet Price-Target Hike Boosts Transocean Shares

Instinet upped its price target on RIG to $8 from $7, although this remains at a steep discount to Friday's close at $13.75. Nevertheless, the shares are set to jump 2.1% out of the gate, after a bullish article in Barron's said RIG could surge 35% over the next two years (subscription required). Today's expected move higher could run into trouble at RIG's 30-day moving average -- a trendline that stifled last week's rally attempt. Longer term, the shares of Transocean LTD are down 6.7% in 2017 amid increased selling pressure from short sellers. Specifically, short interest surged 18.6% in the most recent reporting period, and now accounts for 18% of the stock's available float.

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