Analysts are weighing in on blue chip retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT), consumer lending name Navient Corp (NASDAQ:NAVI), and soda giant The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO). Here’s a quick roundup of today’s bullish brokerage notes on shares of WMT, NAVI, and KO.
Bullish Bias Builds Ahead of Walmart Earnings
Walmart stock yesterday reached an all-time high of $91.98 before closing at $90.99, up more than 16% this quarter alone. Analysts are gearing up for more upside, too, ahead of the company’s earnings release Thursday morning. Barclays last night boosted its price target to $100 from $90 and MKM Partners this morning lifted its target to $92 from $81.
There’s room for more upbeat analyst attention on WMT shares. The majority of covering analysts have “hold” or “strong sell” ratings on the equity, and it’s trading above its average 12-month price target of $88.77. Upgrades and/or price-target hikes are possible going forward, especially if Wal-Mart Stores tops earnings estimates.
Barclays Expects NAVI Stock to Bounce
Barclays this morning reinstated coverage on Navient stock with an “overweight” rating and $17 price target, which represents a 40.7% jump from last night’s close of $12.08. The shares have underperformed over the past year, but recently found support at the $11.50 level. Many traders have been betting on more downside, though. During the last two reporting periods, short interest on NAVI shares jumped by nearly 38%. With only 4% of the equity’s float sold short, there’s plenty of room for more bears to come aboard, which could pressure Navient.
Analysts, Options Traders Bullish Ahead of Coca-Cola Investor Day
Shares of Coca-Cola are edging higher before the open following an upgrade to “outperform” at Wells Fargo, which lifted its price target to $51 from $45. The brokerage firm expects the Dow component to give a bullish growth outlook for 2018 at its investor day on Nov. 16. The stock has been flirting with its April 2016 record high of $47.12 for weeks, closing yesterday at $46.72. But KO stock has been in a solid uptrend over the past year, adding 14%, so a new high could be right around the corner.
Options traders certainly look bullish. Coca-Cola has a 10-day call/put volume ratio of 5.52 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which ranks in the 93rd annual percentile. Said simply, call buying has been unusually popular in recent weeks.
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