“Cut-to-the-Chase” Recommendations
- Week Beginning -
Monday, January 15, 2018

by Ian Harvey

IMPORTANT NOTE: There is no stop-loss or pre-determined sell price recommended – this is left to the discretion of the individual trader.


Option Trade - Snap Inc. (NYSE:SNAP) PUTS

Friday, January 19, 2018

** OPTION TRADE: Buy the SNAP FEB 16 2018 13.000 PUT at approximately $0.60.

Sell price is left to your own judgment.

Snap Inc. (NYSE:SNAP), formerly Snapchat, Inc., a camera company, has been largely disappointing since its March initial public offering (IPO). Shortly after going public, the social media stock peaked at a record of $29.44, but was trading south of its IPO price of $17 by mid-July. The shares have struggled beneath this key level in the subsequent months, and are now poised for a fifth straight weekly drop -- what will be its longest weekly losing streak since the July/August period that culminated in a record low of $11.28 on August 14.

Weighing on SNAP stock has been a recent slew of downgrades and price-target cuts. Just a couple of days ago, in fact, MoffettNathanson cut its price target by $1 to $6 -- representing a decline of more than 50% from the equity's current perch at $13.85. Currently, the majority of the 28 analysts following the Snapchat parent carry "hold" or worse ratings, which isn't too surprising considering the aforementioned struggles on the charts.

As well, Jefferies on Sunday lowered its rating for Snap shares to hold from buy, citing the company's full valuation.

"We continue to have optimism around Snap's platform, but fundamental execution needs to be shown before we can be more positive on the name," analyst Brent Thill wrote in a note to clients. "We've also spent some time with the updated Snapchat app and see the positives, but also some negatives behind the redesign which could lead to some turbulence in usage and adoption when rolled out."

The analyst noted the company is trading at 11 times his 2018 sales estimate, which he believes is "fully valued."

Cowen also reduced its rating for the company Thursday to underperform from market perform after it found ad buyers ranked Snap lowest relative to other social media companies.

Influencing Factors

Snap Inc. has laid off at least two dozen people across several divisions within the company, according to The Information and Cheddar which first reported the news.

Snap has since confirmed these layoffs, which largely affect those on the content teams in the New York and London offices. More than half of the two dozen employees laid off today were part of the content team.

Investors have been pressuring Snap to grow its user base, but so far the company has fumbled in key areas such as hardware and a much anticipated app redesign, which has had a delayed rollout to the United States. This redesign has worried some publishers as it may affect their traffic.

Among social media users of all ages, 91 percent have a Facebook account compared to only 31 percent who have a Snapchat account. RBC analyst Mark Mahaney says Facebook and its Instagram platform are still the gold standard of social media.

"In terms of trends, Snapchat is clearly rising among the 13 to 18 cohort, but Instagram has had positive trends across every age cohort over the past three iterations," Mahaney says.

Snap offers nothing unique to advertisers. The platform doesn’t have a demographic advantage (essentially all of the near 200 million people who use Snapchat on a daily basis also use Instagram and Instagram Stories on a daily basis). It doesn’t have a reach advantage (Instagram Stories and WhatsApp Status both have nearly twice as many daily users as Snapchat). And Snap doesn’t offer any other advantages in terms of ad success (it ranked last across the board in Cowen’s survey in terms of return on investment, targeting, and data, and analytics and measurement).

Snap doesn’t have much more room to run in terms of user growth.

User growth is slowing at an alarming rate for Snap. The reason for this big growth slowdown despite the relatively small base is that Snapchat doesn’t appeal to a broad audience. Its niche is intended for the 30-and-under demographic.

Snap stock isn’t priced for slow user growth to continue. Nor is it priced for average revenue per growth to decelerate dramatically.

Analysts and Hedge Funds Opinions

Raymond James downgrades Snap from Market Perform to Underperform.

Analyst Aaron Kessler notes that the chat/messaging apps haven’t monetized as well as news feeds, historically.

The analyst writes that Snap struggles “to gain meaningful share for its Discover platform” and a failure to diversify away from chat will cause the stock’s valuation to contract.  

Kessler spoke with advertisers, who felt Snapchat’s young audience isn’t as attractive “given their much lower income levels.”

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the company…..

Cowen & Co. downgraded Venice, Calif.-based Snap to underperform from market perform, ranking the company the lowest relative to other social media networks. Analysts cited a survey of 50 “senior U.S. advertising buyers” suggesting that the company should expect only “modest share gains” in social and video ad buying in 2018 and 2019.

Blackledge reduced his 2018 revenue expectations for SNAP to $1.1 billion from $1.3 billion, warning investors that the video sharing app, popular among Millennials, is likely to disappoint in the fourth quarter. He foresees the stock falling 21.4% over the upcoming 12-month period to $11.

“On the whole, Snap was the lowest rated relative to other Social networks, given low relative marks on return on investment; targeting; and data, analytics and measurement,” wrote Cowen analyst John Blackledge. “Ninety-six percent of ad buyers would prefer to advertise on Instagram Stories vs. Snap Ads (4 percent), but underscoring the opportunity ahead, more than 50 percent has yet to purchase Instagram Stories ads or Snap Ads."

The analyst also cut his user forecast to “account for a slightly more conservative view” given app redesign and various challenges such as problems with Android devices and penetration in rest of the world (ROW) markets.  

Insider News……

In the last three months, insiders executed a total of 36 trades. 12 of these were buys and 24 were sells. Insider ownership decreased by a total of 928510 shares, which suggests that SNAP’s key executives are feeling less optimistic about the outlook for the stock. The data from the past twelve months tells a similar story: insiders executed 24 buys and 48 sells, and ownership decreased by a net of 51.83 million shares.

Summary

After a rough 2017, the outlook for Snap stock in 2018 isn’t that much better. The stock still faces multiple headwinds that will ultimately cause shares to fall. Institutional ownership trends suggest that the stock is cheap and the insider trading data indicates that insiders are bearish. Technical indicators (also) suggest that Snap Inc. is overvalued.

Snap has a market cap of $16,690.00 and a P/E ratio of -4.25. Snap Inc. has a 1-year low of $11.28 and a 1-year high of $29.44.


Option Trade - Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC) Puts

Friday, January 19, 2018

** OPTION TRADE: Buy the SYMC FEB 16 2018 26.000 PUT at approximately $0.55.

Sell price is left to your own judgment.

Mountain View, Calif.-based cyber security company Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC) had its stock downgraded by John DiFucci, a Jefferies analyst, to "underperform" from "hold," and slashed its price target by $7 to $23, saying the company's fourth-quarter growth forecast seems unachievable.

Since topping out at a record high of $34.20 in late September, the security has surrendered 22.3% -- and breached long-term support at its 200-day moving average in the process. SYMC is now staring at a 4.8% year-to-date deficit, and is on track for its fourth straight daily loss.

Symantec's guidance, which implies double-digit growth for the fiscal fourth quarter and mid-to-high single-digit growth thereafter, will likely be lowered, DiFucci said in a Thursday note.

The website security divestiture will act as a 400-basis-point headwind to enterprise and a 70-basis-point headwind to overall margins, DiFucci said.

"We believe pursuing both growth and profit simultaneously significantly elevates the execution risk embedded in this stock," he said.

Jefferies expects the stock to re-rate lower when investors realize the current guidance is unachievable.

Symantec Corporation is expected to report earnings on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 after the market closes. The report will be for the fiscal Quarter ending Dec 2017. Based on 5 analysts' forecasts, the consensus EPS forecast for the quarter is $0.29. The reported EPS for the same quarter last year was $0.22.

Influencing Factors

The stock’s current statistics show that the stock candle is bearish with high volatility. Symantec Corporation has a 20-Day average volume of 5.42 Million. According to yesterday’s trading volume Symantec Corporation is above its 20-Day Avg. volume with the stock showing above Abnormal volume in the past 150 days.

Moving average convergence divergence (MACD) shows that the stock is on a price relativity trend. The trend for the past 10-days shows that the company was in bearish territory while an analysis of the last 40-Day trend shows a bullish signal. The 100-Day trend also shows a bearish trend as well.

Symantec Corporation saw a significant increase in short interest in December. As of December 29th, there was short interest totaling 23,567,867 shares, an increase of 4.4% from the December 15th total of 22,580,258 shares. Currently, 3.8% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 3,644,458 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 6.5 days.

Analysts and Hedge Funds Opinions

BidaskClub cut shares of Symantec  from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a report issued on Saturday.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the company…..

  • CIBC restated an “outperform” rating and set a $33.00 target price (down previously from $35.00) on shares of Symantec in a research report on Thursday, November 2nd.
  • Stifel Nicolaus restated a “hold” rating and set a $27.00 target price on shares of Symantec in a research report on Friday, November 3rd.
  • Standpoint Research downgraded Symantec from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, October 9th.
  • Finally, Cowen downgraded Symantec from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $31.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Monday, October 9th.

Symantec has been given a consensus rating of “Hold” by the twenty-seven brokerages that are currently covering the company. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, fifteen have issued a hold recommendation and nine have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1-year price objective among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $32.41.

Institutional investors that have recently made a change to their positions in the stock….

  • Asset Management One Co. Ltd. lowered its holdings in shares of Symantec Corporation by 3.3% in the 3rd quarter. The fund owned 994,273 shares of the technology company’s stock after selling 34,410 shares during the quarter. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. owned 0.16% of Symantec worth $32,635,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Insider News……

  • EVP Francis C. Rosch sold 57,103 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.42, for a total value of $1,565,764.26.
  • Also, CFO Nicholas R. Noviello sold 375,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $29.38, for a total value of $11,017,500.00.

Summary

Shares in Symantec are roughly flat from a year ago and the stock is trading below its 50-day moving average.

Symantec has a market capitalization of $17,867.88, a PE ratio of -72.05, a P/E/G ratio of 2.91 and a beta of 1.08. The company has a quick ratio of 1.12, a current ratio of 1.12 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.72. Symantec has a fifty-two week low of $25.64 and a fifty-two week high of $34.20.


Option Trade - General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) Puts

Thursday, January 18, 2018

** OPTION TRADE: Buy the GE MARCH 2018 17.000 PUT at approximately $0.60.

Sell price is left to your own judgment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average continues to flirt with the 26,000 level, But with a possible government shutdown looming, volatility reappearing and the U.S. dollar careening ahead of a Federal Reserve policy meeting later this month, the market is looking incredibly fragile here.

And many of the big-cap blue-chips are rolling over amid profit taking – and the industrial conglomerate General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) is leading the list.

The company will next report results on Wednesday, January 24, before the bell. Analysts are looking for earnings of 28-cents-per-share on revenues of $32.7 billion. When the company last reported on Oct. 20, earnings of 29 cents missed estimates by 20 cents on an 11.5% rise in revenues.

General Electric shares have reversed lower over the last few trading sessions, returning to lows set in November and December as investors react negatively to news the company will take a larger-than-expected write down related to its legacy reinsurance business.

Influencing Factors

General Electric struggled Tuesday– and there is anticipation that it will for the foreseeable future — as the company reported that its GE Capital unit is going to be taking a $6.2 billion charge on its insurance portfolio in the fourth quarter and that the unit is going to need an additional $15 billion during the coming seven years to stabilize its insurance reserves.

This news has reignited concerns that GE is simply too big and unwieldy and may need to be broken up. In the long run, that might actually be the best strategy for the company. But in the short run, while traders are wondering every day whether the market has reached its peak and is about to sell off, it is expected that this uncertainty will drive the stock lower. Look for GE to drop back down to its recent lows in the run up to the company’s earnings announcement.

Activist investor Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund Management is pushing the 125-year old industrial giant to explore possible sales or spin-outs of its sprawling businesses - including those in the core health and power segments, The New York Post said late Tuesday citing unnamed sources.

Other problems that will likely surface which will create future drag to financial performance include:

  • GE Capital's subprime mortgage investigations;
  • the ongoing review of GE's contract assets that could impact revenue recognition; and
  • asset impairment charges coming from the industrial side, particularly as the company continues to inspect the weakest links in the business portfolio.

All of the above would come alongside the uncertainties surrounding GE's struggling power and oil & gas segments. From a revenue point of view, and using 3Q17 as the yardstick, nearly 50% of the company is facing severe headwinds, contracting organically, and in most cases struggling to find a viable path forward towards growth and margin improvement.

Analysts and Hedge Funds Opinions

General Electric has earned a consensus rating of “Hold” from the twenty-four brokerages that are presently covering the stock. Six analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, eight have given a hold recommendation, eight have assigned a buy recommendation and one has given a strong buy recommendation to the company.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the company…..

  • Vertical Research set an $18.00 price target on shares of General Electric and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday.
  • Deutsche Bank set a $15.00 price objective on shares of General Electric and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday.
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated a “sell” rating and set a price objective on shares of General Electric in a research note on Monday.
  • Finally, Tigress Financial reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of General Electric in a report on Thursday, December 28th.

Institutional investors that have recently made a change to their positions in the stock….

  • Endurance Wealth Management Inc. decreased its holdings in General Electric by 20.7% in the third quarter. The institutional investor owned 206,734 shares of the conglomerate’s stock after selling 54,031 shares during the period. Endurance Wealth Management Inc.’s holdings in General Electric were worth $4,999,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
  • TRUE Private Wealth Advisors cut its stake in General Electric by 40.7% during the 3rd quarter. The firm owned 18,515 shares of the conglomerate’s stock after selling 12,712 shares during the quarter. TRUE Private Wealth Advisors’ holdings in General Electric were worth $452,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Summary

The company is now admitting that earnings power is under further pressure, as the $15 billion cash charges (even as it is spread out over time) at the insurance business comes in close to $1.75 per share.

Worse, besides lower earnings power, such bad news really has the potential to create a situation of financial distress again - only this time during strong economic conditions, unlike the situation a decade ago.

General Electric has a market capitalization of $150,460.00, a PE ratio of 20.17, a P/E/G ratio of 2.11 and a beta of 1.07. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.14, a quick ratio of 1.53 and a current ratio of 1.86. General Electric has a 52-week low of $17.25 and a 52-week high of $31.45.


Option Trade - Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST) Calls

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

** OPTION TRADE: Buy the FAST FEB 2018 57.500 CALL at approximately $1.05.

Sell price is left to your own judgment.

Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST), engaged in wholesale distribution of industrial and construction supplies, will report fourth-quarter fiscal 2017 results tomorrow, January 17, before the opening bell. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.45 per share on revenue of $1.08 billion and the Earnings Whisper number is $0.47 per share.

Short interest has decreased by 10.3% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 28.4% from its open following the earnings release.

Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release.

In the last half of 2017, the industrial equipment firm Fastenal Company (FAST) saw an impressive rally from a trough of $40 to a peak over $54 at the end of the year.

The company hopes to extend on its impressive year-over-year growth rates in Q2 and Q3 in 2017 with another quarter of double-digit growth in earnings and revenue.

Influencing Factors

Increased installation of industrial vending machines is expected to boost sales and profits in the to-be-reported quarter as it is one of the primary growth drivers. Sales through its vending machines continued to grow at or near a double-digit pace in each of the first three quarters of 2017. Fastenal signed 15,089 vending machines during the first nine months of 2017, reflecting an increase of 5.5% from the prior-year quarter.

Notably, the average daily sales growth rate of 15.4% in November was higher than the 13.8% increase in October 2017.

As well, a continual increase in the number of on-site locations is likely to expand Fastenal’s market share and contribute to the quarterly numbers. The company signed 213 new onsite locations during the first nine months of 2017 and had 555 active sites as on Sep 30, 2017, reflecting an increase of 47.6% year over year. The company aims to achieve 275-300 onsite signings in 2017, compared with 176 signings in 2016.

Fastenal acquired Manufacturer's Supply Company (Mansco) in March 2017. This ensures Fastenal’s presence in markets where it has not meaningfully contributed in the past. Mansco contributed 130 basis points (bps) to total sales growth of 11.8% in the last reported quarter and is expected to contribute in the to-be-reported quarter as well.

Analysts and Hedge Funds Opinions

Fastenal was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Thursday, January 4th. The brokerage currently has a $61.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 9.73% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Fastenal gained 23.5% in the last six months, compared with 21.2% growth of its industry. Also, earnings estimates for 2018 have moved upward, reflecting analysts’ optimism. Increased onsite locations and installation of vending machines along with the Mansco acquisition are expected to boost sales. After a soft 2013, vending trends improved thereafter as management’s efforts to enhance the quality of signings/installs paid off. As of Sep 30, 2017, Fastenal operated 69,058 vending machines, up 14.3% year over year. Cost control initiatives are also impressive. However, unfavorable product mix, pricing and competitive pressures are hurting gross margins. Gross margin of 49.4% in the first nine months of 2017 dropped 10 bps from the prior-year quarter.”

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the company…..

  • KeyCorp reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 price objective on shares of Fastenal in a research report on Thursday, October 12th.
  • Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “hold” rating and set a $51.00 price target on shares of Fastenal in a research report on Monday, December 11th.
  • Morgan Stanley reissued an “equal weight” rating and set a $46.00 price target (up from $44.00) on shares of Fastenal in a research report on Monday, October 2nd.
  • Stephens set a $54.00 price target on Fastenal and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 11th.
  • Finally, BMO Capital Markets restated a “market perform” rating and issued a $51.00 price objective (up previously from $46.00) on shares of Fastenal in a research note on Tuesday, October 10th.

One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Fastenal has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $52.93.

Institutional investors that have recently made a change to their positions in the stock….

  • Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Fastenal by 3.1% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 31,573,149 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,374,380,000 after purchasing an additional 943,262 shares in the last quarter.
  • BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Fastenal by 1.9% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 17,796,450 shares of the company’s stock valued at $774,680,000 after purchasing an additional 336,893 shares in the last quarter.
  • Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its holdings in shares of Fastenal by 8.7% in the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 16,219,944 shares of the company’s stock valued at $739,306,000 after purchasing an additional 1,297,185 shares in the last quarter.
  • Bares Capital Management Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Fastenal by 2.0% in the 3rd quarter. Bares Capital Management Inc. now owns 3,662,915 shares of the company’s stock valued at $166,956,000 after purchasing an additional 70,166 shares in the last quarter.
Summary

Based on sustained strength in most of its end markets and strong momentum in vending machines installations and onsite locations, the company is confident about reporting solid top-line growth in the fourth quarter.

Fastenal has a 1-year low of $39.79 and a 1-year high of $55.69. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.21, a current ratio of 5.36 and a quick ratio of 2.45. The stock has a market cap of $15,940.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.66, a PEG ratio of 1.84 and a beta of 1.09.


Option Trade - Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) Calls

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

** OPTION TRADE: Buy the BAC MARCH 16 2018 32.000 CALL at approximately $0.80.

Sell price is left to your own judgment.

 

The U.S. banking giant Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) is scheduled to release earnings before the market opens on Wednesday, January 17, 2018. The performance of Investment banking, one of the major revenue sources for Bank of America, is projected to improve in fourth-quarter 2017, which could majorly support the bank's results.

The consensus earnings estimate is $0.44 per share on revenue of $21.53 billion and the Earnings Whisper number is $0.48 per share. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 10.00%, with revenue increasing by 6.50% from a year ago.

Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release.

In recent trading, shares of Bank of America have crossed above the average analyst 12-month target price of $30.97, changing hands for $31.19/share. Analyst reaction, based on fundamentals, may be responsible for driving the stock price higher - perhaps it is time for that target price to be raised.

If Bank of America meets consensus on quarterly revenue, the U.S. bank will likely close the entire year of 2017 showing revenue – net of interest expense – of no less than $87.91 billion.

As of the most recent quarter, Bank of America has $1.63 trillion in total investments and $722.26 billion in cash on hand and securities. Total assets and liabilities are valued $2.28 trillion and $2.01 trillion. Total stockholder equity is $272.46 billion, and the company reported a volume of 10.43 billion shares outstanding on Sept. 30.

Bank of America Corp has a 52 week low of $22.01 and a 52 week high of $31.20. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.91, a quick ratio of 0.90 and a current ratio of 0.91. The company has a market capitalization of $325,330.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.13, a PEG ratio of 1.67 and a beta of 1.32.

Influencing Factors

Underwriting fees, consisting of debt and equity underwriting are projected to increase. As the interest rate hike is expected to continue, many U.S. companies have been raising fresh debt capital in the recent quarters to avoid higher interest rates later. As debt origination fees account for roughly 40% of total investment banking fees for BofA, this will provide some support.

Also, despite being the seasonally weak quarter for equity issuances globally, fourth-quarter 2017 is likely to be an exception. Strong rally in the equity markets worldwide might have propelled IPOs and follow-on offerings. Therefore, equity underwriting fees are projected to increase for BofA.

Overall, management anticipates investment banking income to be up in mid-single-digits range in the to-be-reported quarter.

The trailing twelve months net margin of 23.48% indicates that the profitability of Bank of America Corp is improving. The industry has a net margin of 22.99%.

In addition, with an annualized 0.91% rate, Bank of America is in line with its industry regarding its ROA ratio, which is calculated as net income on total assets.

Bank of America announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, December 5th that allows the company to repurchase $5.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the financial services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

Analysts and Hedge Funds Opinions

Barclays upped their target price on shares of Bank of America from $28.00 to $35.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 2nd.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the company…..

  • Vetr upgraded Bank of America from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $26.59 price target for the company in a research note on Monday, October 16th.
  • BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $31.00 target price on shares of Bank of America in a research note on Monday, January 8th.
  • Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Bank of America from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $33.00 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, January 2nd.
  • Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $30.00 target price on shares of Bank of America in a research note on Friday, December 8th.
  • Keefe, Bruyette & Woods boosted their price target on Bank of America from $29.00 to $34.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 14th.
  • Wells Fargo & Co set a $35.00 price objective on Bank of America and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 20th.
  • Finally, BidaskClub upgraded Bank of America from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, September 22nd.
  • One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, eighteen have assigned a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $29.14.

Institutional investors that have recently made a change to their positions in the stock….

  • ICM Asset Management Inc. WA lifted its position in shares of Bank of America by 26.4% during the third quarter. The institutional investor owned 70,967 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after buying an additional 14,837 shares during the period. ICM Asset Management Inc. WA’s holdings in Bank of America were worth $1,798,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
  • Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Bank of America by 1.4% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 661,494,339 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $16,047,853,000 after acquiring an additional 9,117,007 shares in the last quarter.
  • Korea Investment CORP raised its position in Bank of America by 0.5% during the second quarter. Korea Investment CORP now owns 78,908,445 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,914,319,000 after acquiring an additional 390,771 shares in the last quarter.
  • TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC raised its position in Bank of America by 1.7% during the second quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 63,635,295 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,543,792,000 after acquiring an additional 1,079,788 shares in the last quarter.
Summary

In a tough operating environment, improvement in BofA's investment banking revenues will likely support top-line growth.





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