Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Upgrades: Apple Inc. (AAPL), Facebook Inc (FB), and Zynga Inc

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on AAPL, FB, and ZNGA

by 4/24/2014 9:29 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on technology powerhouse Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), along with social stocks Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • AAPL is poised to erase its year-to-date loss in today's session, currently up 8.3% in pre-market action to trade at $568.50 following the company's stronger-than-expected earnings report last night. The upbeat news led more than a dozen brokerage firms to upwardly adjust their positions on the stock, including Goldman Sachs and Canaccord Genuity, which each increased their price target by $10 to $620 and $610, respectively. Heading into the quarterly event, short-term Apple Inc. option traders had been trading puts, relative to calls, at a near-annual-high rate, as the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.93 ranks higher than 99% of comparable readings taken during the past 12 months.

  • FB -- which is up 12.3% year-to-date to trade at $61.36, as of yesterday's close -- is also poised for a daily win, after revealing upbeat first-quarter earnings results and receiving multiple bullish brokerage notes. Among the optimists on Wall Street are Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank, which lifted their price targets to $73 from $72, and to $85 from $76, respectively. Facebook Inc is no stranger to bullish attention from analysts, already maintaining 30 "buy" or better endorsements versus three "holds" and not a single "sell" suggestion. Furthermore, the average 12-month price target of $74.61 represents expected upside into territory yet to be explored by FB.

  • Finally, ZNGA -- which last night announced a 36% decline in revenue for the first quarter and reported a management shake-up -- nevertheless scored a significant amount of positive brokerage notes in pre-market trading, including $0.50 price-target hikes to $4.50 and $5 at BMO and Piper Jaffray, respectively. On the charts, Zynga Inc is down about 6% on a one-month basis to trade at $4.42 (though, the shares are poised for an earnings-induced pop today), and so investors have upped the bearish ante on the stock. Short interest climbed 25.3% during the last two reporting periods, and now accounts for 8.4% of ZNGA's available float.

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