3 Stocks Gaining Ground on New Buy Ratings

Heavily shorted APRN is set to rally after landing a new bullish brokerage rating

Sep 25, 2017 at 9:07 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on automaker General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), offshore driller Transocean Ltd (NYSE:RIG), and Amazon meal-delivery rival Blue Apron Holdings Inc (NYSE:APRN). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on shares of GM, RIG, and APRN.

GM Revs Higher on Upgrade to "Buy"

Deutsche Bank upgraded GM to "buy" from "hold" and hiked its price target to $51 from $36, implying expected upside of 29.4% from Friday's close at $39.42. General Motors stock is up 1.7% ahead of the bell, on pace to extend its recent breakout above its March highs in the $38.50 region.

As GM shares continue their positive price action, there's plenty of room for more analysts to climb on board. Among the 13 brokerage firms tracking the auto sector standout, eight maintain a skeptical "hold" rating -- providing ample opportunity for more upgrades down the road.

Transocean Lands a Rare Bullish Brokerage Nod

RIG scored an upgrade to "buy" from "neutral" at UBS this morning, along with a price-target boost to $15 from $9. In a note to clients, the brokerage firm cited rising demand expectations for floaters and jackups through 2020. Transocean shares have surged 4.7% in pre-market trading, after settling Friday's session at $9.32 -- down nearly 37% year-to-date.

Given the bleak price performance by RIG this year, it's no surprise to find that most analysts are considerably less optimistic than UBS. The stock sports just four "strong buy" recommendations, compared to nine "holds" -- and no fewer than six "strong sells."

Blue Apron Set to Bounce on New "Buy" Recommendation

APRN stock has tacked on 2.9% in electronic trading, bolstered by a new "buy" rating from Guggenheim. The firm set its price target for Blue Apron stock at $9, representing a premium of more than 73% to Friday's close at $5.19. It's been a rough road for APRN since its initial public offering (IPO) priced at $10 per share back in late June, due to competition concerns from Amazon, but the $5 level -- a 50% haircut from that IPO level -- has contained the stock's recent lows.

Meanwhile, short sellers maintain a massive stake against APRN, which could contribute to future volatility in the share price. Currently, despite a 10.8% drop in the past two reporting periods, a substantial 43.6% of the stock's float is dedicated to short interest. That accumulation represents nearly eight times APRN's average daily trading volume.

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