Apple, First Solar, Dunkin Upgraded

Apple, First Solar, and Dunkin Brands stocks are on analysts' bullish radar today

Karee Venema
May 1, 2017 at 9:50 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on iPhone maker Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), alternative-energy issue First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR), and doughnut specialist Dunkin Brands. Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on shares of AAPL and FSLR, as well as DNKN stock.

Apple Stock Nears New Highs Ahead of Earnings

AAPL stock could take aim at a new record high today, up 1.2% at $145.33 -- just a chip-shot away from its April 5 all-time peak of $145.46. Boosting the shares is a bullish note from Cowen, which reiterated its "outperform" rating and $155 price target on Apple Inc. ahead of tomorrow night's earnings report. Today's pop has AAPL stock widening its year-to-date advance to 25%, and there's more room for analysts to upwardly revise their ratings. Of the 32 brokerages covering the outperforming Dow stock, seven still maintain a "hold" or "strong sell" recommendation.

First Solar Stock Gets a Pre-Earnings Upgrade

Credit Suisse upgraded FSLR stock to "neutral" from "underperform," and raised its price target to $31 from $25. As such, the shares have jumped 1.5% to trade at $30, but are running into trouble at their descending 50-day moving average. Longer term, the stock has shed 22% from its late-February high at $38.50 -- and tagged a four-year low of $25.56 on April 6. Nevertheless, options traders at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) have been buying to open calls over puts at a near-annual-high clip ahead of First Solar, Inc.'s earnings report, due after tomorrow's close. The stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 8.07 sits just 1 percentage point from a 52-week peak.

DNKN Stock Trades Up After Bullish RBC Note

DNKN stock was upgraded to "outperform" from "sector perform" at RBC, which also raised its price target to $64 from $54 -- in record-high territory. The brokerage firm waxed optimistic on the steps Dunkin Brands is taking to increase profitability among franchisees, while a free coffee tasting later this month "could be a start to improving core coffee marketing." At last check, DNKN stock was trading up 2.2% at $57.08, bringing its year-to-date advance to almost 9%. A continued rise could shake some of the weaker bearish hands loose. Short interest on DNKN jumped 20% in the past two recent reporting periods, and now accounts for 10% of the stock's float -- or 5.5 times the average daily pace of trading. DNKN should continue to be in focus this week, with earnings slated for release ahead of Thursday's opening bell.


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