Stocks quoted in this article:
The broad-market indexes are lower at midday, as traders exercise caution amid escalating geopolitical tensions in Ukraine. Meanwhile, among the equities in focus are software concern Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL), 3-D printing firm 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD), and video game maker Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA), which have all attracted the attention of analysts.
- ORCL saw its price target lifted to $45 from $40 at Susquehanna this morning, but has succumbed to broad-market selling pressure nonetheless, down 1.5% at $38.52. The stock is no stranger to optimism on the Street, as 16 out of 25 analysts offer up "buy" or better opinions. Meanwhile, the security's 10-day call/put volume ratio on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) sits at 2.57 -- just 7 percentage points from an annual high. In other words, option buyers are scooping up Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) calls over puts at a faster-than-usual clip. However, considering short interest grew by 25.7% during the past two reporting periods, some of those calls could've been purchased as hedges.
- DDD continues to receive analyst praise in the wake of its upbeat sales forecast for 2014, issued Friday morning. Ahead of the bell today, the stock earned no fewer than five price-target hikes, with Canaccord Genuity and Needham lifting their targets from $75, to $100 and $88, respectively. On the flip side, there's plenty of room left on the bullish bandwagon. The equity's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 1.19 stands higher than 91% of all other readings from the past year, hinting at a healthier-than-usual appetite for long puts over calls during the past two weeks. At last check, the shares of 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) are following the broader equities market into the red, down 1.3% at $75.
- After tagging a multi-year high of $28.73 last week, EA is taking a breather, down 2% at $28.03. However, analysts at Stifel Nicolaus expect the stock to extend its upward momentum, lifting their price target on the security to $32 from $30. Should Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) continue its rally -- the stock has outperformed the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by 28 percentage points during the past three months -- a short-squeeze situation could add contrarian fuel to the security's fire. In fact, short interest accounts for 12% of EA's total available float, and would take more than six sessions to repurchase, at the stock's average pace of trading.