Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Upgrades: Google Inc, Microsoft Corporation, and Barrick Gold Corporation (USA)

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on GOOG, MSFT, and ABX

by 1/24/2014 9:16 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Analysts are weighing in today on search engine name Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), software specialist Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), and mining company Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • GOOG -- which is up about 54% on a year-over-year basis to trade at $1,160.10 -- received a price-target hike to $1,200 from $980 at Wedbush this morning. Meanwhile, in the options pits, Google Inc is looking at a Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.77, which is just 3 percentage points from a 12-month low. In other words, short-term option traders have rarely been more call-biased toward the stock during the past year.

  • MSFT's strong second-quarter earnings report was applauded by the brokerage crew. Following last night's announcement, Oppenheimer and J.P. Morgan Securities upped their price targets to $38 from $37, and to $32 from $30, respectively. Likewise, FBR, Bernstein, and CLSA raised their own price targets on the stock. For comparison, the consensus 12-month price target for Microsoft Corporation is $37.26, which is just a chip-shot away from the shares' current price of $36.06. Meanwhile, 12 of the 22 covering analysts maintain "hold" or worse suggestions on the equity. Given MSFT's 30.5% year-over-year gain, and last night's remarkable earnings report, more upgrades and/or price-target hikes may be on the way, which could provide additional momentum for the shares.

  • ABX -- which has tacked on close to 16% in the past 30 days to trade at $19.31 -- saw its price target raised to $23 from $20 at RBC today. Meanwhile, the average 12-month price target on Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) is $19.25, just a few cents south of the stock's current perch. Plus, from the 16 analysts weighing in, the equity has received 14 tepid "holds" and one "strong sell" suggestion, compared to just one "strong buy" recommendation.

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