Stocks quoted in this article:
The major market indexes are poised to end the week on a high note, as traders celebrate stronger-than-expected data on the employment front. Among the stocks in focus include BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY), alternative-energy concern First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR), and automaker General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), which have all attracted the attention of analysts.
- BBRY is up 1.2% at $15.87, thanks to encouraging signs for its BlackBerry Q10, which received security clearance from the Pentagon and hit shelves in Canada and Britain this week. "Based on our store checks, the BlackBerry Q10 has been selling extremely well and has been sold out or seeing limited availability in Toronto and across the U.K.," said Jefferies analyst Peter Misek. While Jefferies maintains a "buy" rating on Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY), other analysts remain skeptical. The stock sports just six "buy" or better endorsements, compared to 11 tepid "holds" and 13 "sell" or worse ratings. Plus, the average 12-month price target stands at $12.45, representing a discount to BBRY's current perch. A flood of upgrades and/or price-target hikes could translate into contrarian upside for the shares.
- Moving on, Lazard upped its price target on FSLR by 33% to $60. Nevertheless, the shares are taking a breather from their recent quest for new highs, down 1.1% at $45.94. Still, the stock has added more than 4.3% so far this week, bringing its Relative Strength Index (RSI) to 76 -- in overbought territory, suggesting a rally respite was likely in the cards. Of course, First Solar could resume its uptrend, should more analysts capitulate to the bullish club. Just one brokerage firm deems FSLR worthy of a "buy" or better rating, with 16 others offering up "hold" or worse recommendations.
- Finally, GM was last seen 1.8% higher at $31.71, after earlier touching a near two-year high of $32.44. The firm yesterday reported stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings, which likely sent more than a few options traders into celebration mode. The brokerage bunch is waxing optimistic on General Motors, with Jefferies lifting its price target to $31 from $29, and RBC upping its target to $41 from $38. Additionally, Craig-Hallum upgraded the security to "buy" from "hold." (UBS was the black sheep of the group, trimming its price target by $1 to $35.) GM's earnings-inspired rally is also likely spooking the shorts, as these bearish bets account for more than a week's worth of pent-up buying demand, at the equity's average pace of trading.