Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Upgrades: Amazon.com, Intel, and SodaStream International

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on AMZN, INTC, and SODA

by 1/7/2013 9:07 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Analysts are weighing in today on Internet marketplace Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN - 259.15), semiconductor issue Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC - 21.16), and home beverage maker SodaStream International Ltd (NASDAQ:SODA - 48.69). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • Tacking on almost 2% in pre-market action, AMZN was upgraded to "overweight" from "equal weight" at Morgan Stanley this morning, while Macquarie raised its price target to $305 from $255. The stock has advanced almost 42% during the past year, yet AMZN has been seeing plenty of bearish short-term trading activity lately. The equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) stands at 1.43, indicating puts outnumber calls among options expiring within the next three months. This ratio is just 10 percentage points shy of a yearly peak, reflecting a stronger-than-usual bias toward put options over their bullish counterparts.

  • With quarterly earnings looming on the horizon, INTC was lifted to "buy" from "neutral" at Lazard ahead of the opening bell. The equity has surrendered more than 16% on a year-over-year basis, but that hasn't deterred call players. Data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows a 50-day call/put volume ratio of 2.19 for INTC, confirming calls bought to open have more than doubled puts during the past 10 weeks. This ratio ranks higher than 81% of other such readings taken within the last year, meaning traders have been buying calls over puts at a faster-than-usual pace.

  • SODA was started with an "overweight" rating and a price target of $55 at Barclays last night, which could help add to the security's 12-month gain of more than 25%. The shares have also outpaced the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by north of 30 percentage points over the past two months, yet skeptics seem unimpressed by this technical strength. Although short interest on SODA declined by almost 10% during the most recent reporting period, these bearish bets still account for a whopping 46% of the equity's available float. It would take roughly 10 days to cover these shorted shares, at the stock's average daily trading volume, keeping the door open for a short-covering rally.

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