Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Upgrades: Amazon.com, Facebook, and MasterCard

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on AMZN, FB, and MA

by 9/21/2012 9:08 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Analysts are weighing in today on Internet marketplace Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN - 260.81), social networking site Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB - 22.59), and credit card issue MasterCard Inc (NYSE:MA - 454.18). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • AMZN was started with a "buy" rating and a $300 price target at Cantor Fitzgerald this morning, despite Thursday's news that retail powerhouse Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) decided to stop selling the company's Kindle device. Although the stock boasts a year-to-date gain of roughly 51%, near-term puts outpace calls, as reflected by the security's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.44. This ratio is just four percentage points away from a yearly peak, meaning short-term options players have rarely been more put-heavy toward the equity during the past year.

  • Cantor Fitzgerald also started coverage of FB with a "buy" recommendation ahead of the open, a move that contrasts the price-target cut that was issued to the equity earlier this week. On the other hand, Deutsche Bank launched coverage with a lukewarm "hold" recommendation. The stock has added about 25% so far this month, but that hasn't fazed the skeptics. Short interest on the security jumped by 39% during the past two reporting periods, and now accounts for close to 7% of FB's available float.

  • MA was upgraded to "buy" from "neutral" at Citigroup in pre-market action, which could add to its year-to-date gain of about 22%. In the options pits, calls reign supreme, according to data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). The stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio sits at 1.70, confirming that calls bought to open have nearly doubled puts during the past two weeks. This ratio ranks in the 96th annual percentile, meaning traders have picked up calls over puts at a faster pace just 4% of the time during the last 12 months.

Here are some additional articles of interest:

Analyst Downgrades: E*TRADE Financial, Charles Schwab, and Peabody Energy

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB): Cutting Through the Noise


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