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The broad-market indexes are mostly higher in late-morning trading, with the S&P 500 Index (SPX) touching a fresh record peak. Meanwhile, among the equities in focus are smartphone concern BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY), chip maker NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), and virtual infrastructure provider EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC), which have all attracted the attention of analysts.
- CLSA lifted its rating on BBRY to "underperform" from "sell." The shares of BBRY were last seen 0.3% higher at $9.45, after the firm said it struck a deal to sell most of its Canadian real estate holdings. While options buyers have been upping the bullish ante on BBRY heading into its March 28 earnings release, most analysts remain wary of the stock. In fact, not one of the 28 covering brokerage firms offers up a "buy" or better endorsement. Furthermore, the consensus 12-month price target of $9.23 represents a discount to the security's current price. Should the equity extend its year-to-date climb of more than 27%, or should BlackBerry Ltd wow the Street with earnings next week, additional upgrades and/or price-target boosts could add contrarian fuel to the equity's fire.
- CLSA also weighed in on NVDA, and initiated coverage with an "underperform" rating and a $19 price target -- just a stone's throw from the stock's current price of $18.63. Nevertheless, NVDA shares are trending higher in early trading, bringing their year-to-date gain to 16.3%. Most analysts are already in the bears' camp, with just eight of 26 brokerage firms doling out "strong buy" recommendations. Likewise, the average 12-month price target of $17.60 is south of the equity's current price. Meanwhile, short interest accounts for 10.8% of NVIDIA Corporation's total available float, and would take more than six sessions to buy back, at the stock's average pace of trading. Should the shares extend their longer-term uptrend, a round of upbeat analyst attention and/or a short-squeeze situation could translate into a contrarian boon for NVDA.
- Finally, EMC saw its price target lifted by $1 to $30 at BMO last night. The analysts also reiterated their "outperform" endorsement on the stock, which is 0.8% higher at $27.93. While the majority of the brokerage firms are already in the bulls' camp -- 21 out of 26 analysts maintain "buy" or better ratings -- there's still plenty of room on the bandwagon. Short interest accounts for nearly 118 million EMC shares, representing nearly six sessions' worth of pent-up buying demand, at the security's average daily trading volume. If EMC Corporation shares continue their quest for new highs -- the stock matched its annual high of $28 today -- a mass exodus of shorts could propel the stock even higher.