Guggenheim Raises Outlook on Surging AutoZone Stock

Meanwhile, red-hot McDonald's just picked up some more bull notes, as well

by Josh Selway

Published on Jun 28, 2019 at 10:26 AM

AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) stock has had a huge year, rising 29% in 2019 and hitting an all-time high of $1,135.39 last week. Just this morning, Guggenheim upgraded its opinion on the auto parts retailer to "outperform" from "perform," and lifted its price target to $1,225 from $900, expecting more strong sales growth going forward.

Taking a step back, most analysts are already bullish on AZO stock, with nine of 15 handing out "strong buy" recommendations, and there are zero "sells" on the books. More price-target hikes could come through, though, since the shares are nearly trading at their average 12-month price target of $1,115.56, with the shares last quoted at $1,098.35. 

Meanwhile, there's been notable action in the options pits, where traders have been focusing on puts. Data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 2.23, ranking in the 92nd annual percentile. In other words, there's been unusual put buying in recent weeks.

Another name that received positive analyst attention is McDonald's Corp (NYSE:MCD), which has also been very strong on the charts, as we discussed in the latest Schaeffer's Stock Market podcast. J.P Morgan Securities and Jefferies both weighed in this morning, raising their price targets to $215 and $230, respectively.

In response, MCD shares have popped 0.4% out of the gate to trade at $206.96, already tapping a fresh record high $207.30. Options trading has already picked up, too, with heavy trading at the weekly 6/28 207.50-strike call, where traders could be closing positions ahead of the contract's expiration at the close today.

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