Apple, NutriSystem, Priceline Upgraded

Apple Inc. (AAPL), NutriSystem Inc. (NTRI), and Priceline Group Inc (PCLN) are getting applause from Wall Street analysts

Feb 28, 2017 at 9:08 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on Dow stock Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), weight-loss specialist NutriSystem Inc. (NASDAQ:NTRI), and online travel agency Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN). Here's a roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on AAPL, NTRI, and PCLN shares.

Apple Shares Find More Supporters

UBS raised its price target on AAPL to $151 from $138, in record-high territory. This is more of the same for the high-flying shares, which yesterday got an endorsement from Warren Buffett, after last week's all-time peak of $137.48. On Monday, Apple Inc. closed not far from there, at $136.93. Yet, short-term open interest is tilted toward the put side of the aisle. AAPL's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.07 ranks just 3 percentage points from a 12-month high.

NutriSystem Earnings Could Power Stock to New High

Fresh off an earnings beat and better-than-expected guidance, NTRI saw its price target hiked at Craig-Hallum and Wunderlich to $60 and $52, respectively -- both in territory not seen since 2007. Just yesterday, the stock topped out at a nine-year peak of $39.25 before settling at $39.20, and is poised to gap nearly 20% higher out of the gate. Short sellers have been covering their positions on rallying NutriSystem Inc., but there appears to be more gas left in the proverbial tank. Almost 7% of the stock's float is still sold short, which would take 7.5 sessions to buy back, at NTRI's typical trading pace.

Priceline Wins Post-Earnings Price-Target Hikes

PCLN is seeing positive analyst attention, after the company exceeded its consensus earnings and revenue expectations. No fewer than a dozen brokerage firms raised their price targets on the stock, with Jefferies and RBC both predicting a move to $2,000. This is more of the same for Priceline Group Inc, which has received 19 "buy" or better ratings, versus just four "holds" and a single "strong sell." The collective optimism is far from surprising, given the fact that the stock touched a record high of $1,664.99 last week, and closed yesterday at $1,632.01, up 30% year-over-year. Ahead of the bell, PCLN has tacked on another 3.4%, putting it on pace for its loftiest level ever.

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