Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog
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The broad-market indexes have spent the first couple of trading hours in the red, due to lingering concerns about China and Ukraine. Meanwhile, among the equities in focus are telecom concern Sprint Corporation (NYSE:S), software maker Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE), and semiconductor issue Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ:BRCM), which have all attracted the attention of analysts.

  • Masayoshi Son, president of SoftBank and billionaire owner of S, is making the rounds in Washington, D.C., this week, and vowed to launch a "massive price war" if U.S. regulators okay a merger with T-Mobile US Inc (NYSE:TMUS). Against this backdrop, Macquarie lifted its price target on S to $9.25 from $8.65, though most analysts remain in the bears' corner. Specifically, just four out of 20 brokerage firms deem S worthy of a "buy" or better opinion, and the average 12-month price target of $7.62 represents a discount to the stock's current price of $8.70. Technically speaking, S has outperformed the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by more than 8 percentage points during the past month. Should the stock extend its uptrend, or should Sprint Corporation succeed in its pursuit of TMUS, more upbeat analyst attention could drive the shares even higher.

  • ADBE is 0.7% higher at $67.94, after UBS upped its price target by $10 to $80 and reiterated its "buy" recommendation. Most analysts are already optimistic when it comes to ADBE, which sports 11 "strong buys" and just five "hold" ratings. Elsewhere, options traders are initiating bullish bets at a faster-than-usual clip ahead of Adobe Systems Incorporated's fiscal first-quarter earnings report, tentatively slated for release after the close on Tuesday, March 18. On the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the equity's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 1.97 ranks in the 67th percentile of its annual range. However, option buyers are paying relatively hefty premiums to roll the dice on ADBE's short-term trajectory, as the security's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 42% sits just 10 percentage points from an annual peak.

  • Finally, BRCM is flirting with a 1.3% gain at $30.81, after FBR hiked its price target by $1 to $35 and reiterated its "outperform" endorsement. The stock already has plenty of fans on Wall Street, as 20 of the 32 covering analysts offer up "buy" or better ratings. Plus, option buyers have preferred Broadcom Corporation calls over puts by a margin of nearly 6-to-1 during the past couple of weeks, and the resulting 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 5.97 stands higher than 70% of all other readings of the past year, hinting at a healthier-than-usual appetite for bullish bets over bearish. Unlike ADBE, however, short-term BRCM traders are snatching up options contracts at a relative discount; the stock's SVI of 22% ranks in the bottom fifth of its annual range.

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