Analyst Upgrade Helps First Solar Bounce from Key Bullish Trendline Again

Piper Jaffray gave struggling HSIC an upgrade to overweight from neutral

Sep 15, 2017 at 10:40 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on airline company Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV), alternative energy concern First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR), and healthcare product provider Henry Schein, Inc. (NASDAQ:HSIC). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on shares of LUV, FSLR, and HSIC.

LUV Struggles to Capitalize on J.P. Morgan Upgrade

J.P. Morgan Securities upgraded Southwest Airlines stock to "overweight" from "neutral," and raised its price target to $66 from $60. This bullish note comes shortly after Southwest said it expects the impact of Hurricane Harvey to range between $40 million and $60 million, with Irma expected to deliver a similar blow. However, the shares are flat at $54.34 today, as LUV struggles to reclaim a foothold above its 40-day moving average.

At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), LUV carries a 50-day call/put volume ratio of 2.92, which ranks in the 80th percentile of all other ratings in its annual range. This indicates calls have been heavily favored over puts in the past 52 weeks.

First Solar Rallies from Key Trendline After Bullish Note

Deutsche Bank upgraded FSLR to "buy" from "hold" earlier, while raising its price target to $65 from $50. First Solar has been churning sideways since late July, but today the stock has popped 5.3% to $50.99 -- continuing its pattern of strong rallies after testing its 40-day moving average.

Despite the strong price action, FSLR's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.63 ranks in the 91st percentile of all other daily readings from the past 12 months. In other words, near-term options traders have rarely been more put-biased in the past 52 weeks.

Slumping HSIC Gains Ground on Upgrade

HSIC received an upgrade to "overweight" from "neutral" at Piper Jaffray, accompanied by a $3 price-target hike to $193, after Thursday's close. At last glance, HSIC was trading up nearly 4.3% at $84.01, though the stock is still down more than 10% from its early June high at $93.50. 

Short interest has been ramping up over the past two reporting periods for the healthcare product provider, rising nearly 56% to account for just over 3% of the stock's available float. What's more, HSIC's SOIR of 2.16 ranks in the 76th percentile of its annual range, indicating puts easily outnumber calls among near-term options.

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