Notable Upgrades: Google Inc. (GOOGL), Microsoft (MSFT), Applied Materials (AMAT), Costco (COST), LinkedIn (LNKD)

Google Inc. (GOOGL) was reiterated a ‘Outperform’ by Credit Suisse analysts on Friday. The broker also raised its price target on the stock to $700 from $690.

Google Inc. Cl A shares are currently priced at 26.37x this year’s forecasted earnings compared to the industry’s 22.93x earnings multiple. Ticker has a forward P/E of 17.06 and t-12 price-to-sales ratio of 5.48. EPS for the same period is $21.16.

In the past 52 weeks, shares of Mountain View, California-based search giant have traded between a low of $490.91 and a high of $608.91 and are now at $557.87. Shares are down 6.64% year-over-year ; up 2.64% year-to-date.

Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) was reiterated as ‘Buy’ with a $52 from $50 price target on Friday by UBS.

On valuation measures, Microsoft Corp. shares are currently priced at 18.71x this year’s forecasted earnings compared to the industry’s 22.93x earnings multiple. Ticker has a PEG and forward P/E ratio of 3.22 and 16.82, respectively. Price/Sales for the same period is 3.80 while EPS is $2.41. Currently there are 15 analysts that rate MSFT a ‘Buy‘, 12 rate it a ‘Hold‘. 3 analysts rate it a ‘Sell‘. MSFT has a median Wall Street price target of $51.50 with a high target of $60.00.

Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT) was raised to ‘Neutral‘ from ‘Negative‘ at Susquehanna on Friday.

AMAT is up $0.29 at $18.81 on normal volume. Midway through trading Friday, 6.58 million shares of Applied Materials Inc. have exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 14.95 million shares. The stock has ranged in a price between $18.72-$18.99 after having opened the day at $18.85 as compared to the previous trading day’s close of $18.52.

In the past 52 weeks, shares of Santa Clara, California-based company have traded between a low of $18.51 and a high of $25.71. Shares are down 18.96% year-over-year and 25% year-to-date.

Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST) was upgraded to ‘Outperform‘ from ‘Perform‘ by Oppenheimer analysts on Friday. The broker also set its price target on the stock at $160.

COST is currently printing a normal trading volume with the issue trading 1.27 million shares, compared to the average volume of 2.17 million. The stock began trading this morning at $141.71 to currently trade 2.49% higher from the prior days close of $139.45. On an intraday basis it has gotten as low as $141.17 and as high as $143.16.

Costco Wholesale Corp. shares are priced at 27.38x this year’s forecasted earnings, compared to the industry’s 19.83x earnings multiple. The company’s current year and next year EPS growth estimates stand at 12.00% and 8.60% compared to the industry growth rates of 9.60% and 19.80%, respectively. COST has a t-12 price-to-sales ratio of 0.53. EPS for the same period registers at $5.22.

Costco Wholesale shares have advanced 1.02% in the last 4 weeks while declining 6.03% in the past three months. Over the past 5 trading sessions the stock has gained 2.17%.

The Issaquah, Washington-based company, which is currently valued at $62.81 billion, has a median Wall Street price target of $156.00 with a high target of $165.00. Costco Wholesale Corp. is up 23.12% year-over-year, compared with a 4.26% gain in the S&P 500.

Shares of LinkedIn Corporation (LNKD) are up 3.08, or 1.48%, at $210.64, after Mizuho analysts today initiated coverage of the name, giving it a ‘Buy‘ rating and price target of $240.

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