Notable Upgrades: Whole Foods Market (WFM), Bank of America (BAC), Brocade Communications Systems (BRCD), Affymetrix Inc. (AFFX), Akorn, Inc. (AKRX)

Citigroup (C) is out with a report this morning upgrading shares of Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. (BRCD) with a ‘Buy’ from ‘Sell’ rating and $15 from $9.50 price target. Citi’ price objective suggests a potential upside of about 58% from the stock’s previous close.

In other BRCD news this morning, Brocade announced advancements to the Brocade VCS fabric portfolio that are designed to significantly improve IT agility and help customers migrate to the New IP. These solutions enable efficient, automated, scale-out network architectures with new, advanced programmability and orchestration to deliver network resources on demand.

On valuation measures, BRCD shares are currently priced at 22.49x this year’s forecasted earnings, which makes them expensive compared to the industry’s 17.41x earnings multiple. Ticker has a forward P/E of 12.31 and t-12 price-to-sales ratio of 2.28. EPS for the same period is $0.53.

In the past 52 weeks, shares of the San Jose, California-based firm have traded between a low of $7.95 and a high of $12.43 and are now at $11.92. Shares are up 27.79% year-over-year ; down 1.35% year-to-date.

Analysts at Portales upgraded this morning their rating on the shares of Bank of America Corporation (BAC) to ‘Outperform’ from ‘Sector Perform’.  Shares of BofA have a trailing-12 and forward P/E of 44.56 and 9.68, respectively. P/E to growth ratio is 1.41, while t-12 profit margin is 5.90%. EPS registers at $0.36. The company has a market cap of $168.68B and a median Wall Street price target of $18.00 with a high target of $21.00.

BAC currently prints a one year loss of about 2.70%, and a year-to-date loss of around 12%.

Whole Foods Market, Inc. (WFM) was upgraded by OTR Global from a ‘Negative’ rating to a ‘Mixed’ rating in a research note issued on Thursday. WFM shares recently lost 78c to $52.90. In the past 52 weeks, shares of Austin, Texas-based organic food retailer have traded between a low of $36.08 and a high of $56.42. Shares are up 2.58% year-over-year and 6.74% year-to-date.

Shares of Affymetrix Inc. (AFFX) gained 36c to $11.32 in morning trading today after the company last night reported better than expected Q4 earnings and revenues. Following earnings, AFFX was upgraded by JPMorgan (JPM) from an ‘Underweight’ rating to a ‘Neutral’ rating. In the past 52 weeks, AFFX shares have traded between a low of $6.25 and a high of $11.89 with the 50-day MA and 200-day MA located at $10.51 and $9.00 levels, respectively. Additionally, shares of Affymetrix trade at a P/E ratio of 1.28 and have a Relative Strength Index (RSI) and MACD indicator of 61.11 and -0.11, respectively.

AFFX currently prints a one year return of 23.70% and a year-to-date return of around 11%.

Akorn, Inc. (AKRX) gained $1.59 to $45.97 in mid-day trading today. Approximately 746K shares have already changed hands, compared to the stock’s average daily volume of 1.53M shares. Sterne Agee is out with a report this morning initiating shares of Akorn with a ‘Buy’ rating and $52 price target.

The stock is up more than 101.36% year-over-year and has gained roughly 22.60% year-to-date. In the past 52 weeks, shares of the Lake Forest, Illinois-company have traded between a low of $20.52 and a high of $46.70.

AKRX closed Wednesday at $44.38. The name has a total market cap of $4.96B.

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