BofA-Merrill Lynch: Buy This Blue Chip

The brokerage firm expects PG to beat EPS and organic sales estimates this quarter

by Lillian Currens

Published on Jan 2, 2019 at 12:24 PM
Updated on Jan 2, 2019 at 12:25 PM

BofA-Merrill Lynch just named Procter & Gamble Co (NYSE:PG) one of its "high conviction ideas" for the first quarter of 2019. The brokerage firm said it sees sustainability in P&G's recent revenue strength, and that the company is positioned to beat earnings per share (EPS) and organic sales estimates.

Looking at the charts, the security hit a record high of $96.89 in mid-December thanks to an upgrade to "buy" from BofA-Merrill Lynch. The stock pulled back from here, but found support in the $87-$88 region, home to a mid-October bull gap and its rising 80-day moving average, last seen trading at $90.76. Plus, amid stiff broad-market headwinds, PG stock just saw its best quarter since 2013 with a 10.4% gain.

pg stock daily chart jan 2

Analysts could start following BofA-Merril Lynch's lead, too -- with P&G overdue for some upgrades. Eight "buy" or better recommendations are currently maintained on the stock, compared to nine "hold" or worse ratings. Plus, the 12-month consensus price target of $90.88 is roughly in line with current levels. 

A shift in sentiment among options traders could keep the wind at the Dow stock's back, too. PG's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.80 on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) ranks in the 96th annual percentile, meaning puts have been bought to open over calls at a quicker-than-usual clip in recent weeks.

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