Analyst Calls Apple Stock a 'Buy' Ahead of iPhone 8 Release

Analysts expect a fresh record high for VMware stock

Managing Editor
Aug 23, 2017 at 10:25 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on FAANG stock Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Jeep parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE:FCAU), and tech name VMware, Inc. (NYSE:VMW). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on shares of AAPL, FCAU, and VMW.

Canaccord Genuity Says Apple Sales Steady Ahead of iPhone 8 Launch 

Apple stock is up fractionally to trade at $159.83, after Canaccord Genuity reiterated its "buy" rating and $180 price target, citing encouraging iPhone sales ahead of the September iPhone 8 release. Apple is also making  headlines, with The New York Times reporting the company is scaling back its plans for a self-driving car. Apple stock is still up 47% year-over-year, and touched a new record high of $162.51 last Wednesday, Aug. 16.

Against this backdrop, options traders have had a higher-than-usual appetite for long calls relative to puts lately. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), AAPL's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 2.51 ranks in the 86th percentile of its annual range. 

Spinoff Rumors Have Fiat Chrysler Stock Revving Its Engine

Fiat Chrysler shares are up 5.2% to trade at $14.17, fresh off a new record high of $14.25, after Jefferies raised its price target on the car name to $19 from $14. This comes amid rumors Fiat Chrysler is considering a spin off of its upscale Maserati and Alfa Romeo brands, per Bloomberg.

FCAU stock has now doubled in value year-over-year, and more upbeat analyst attention could be on the horizon. In fact, 40% of brokerages maintain a "sell" or worse rating, while the average 12-month price target of $15.79 stands just 11.5% from current trading levels. 

VMware Stock Gets Another Lofty Price Target Ahead Of Earnings

VMW shares are up 0.6% to trade at $100.48, hitting a three-year high of $100.68 not long ago, after receiving a price-target hike to $125 from $113 at RBC. This new goal sits in uncharted territory for the stock, and represents a 24% increase from today's price. VMW stock broke out above its 50-day moving average in late July, and is now boasting a 27.6% year-to-date.

And while short interest is at a record high on VMware ahead tomorrow night's earnings report, options traders have been buying to open calls over puts at a faster-than-usual clip. The stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 3.55 at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX ranks in the elevated 69th annual percentile.

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