Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Upgrades: Amazon.com, Starbucks, and QUALCOMM

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on AMZN, SBUX, and QCOM

by 11/5/2012 9:01 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Analysts are weighing in today on Internet marketplace Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN - 232.42), coffee chain Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX - 50.84), and telecom issue QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM - 59.30). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • AMZN -- which is up more than 34% so far this year -- saw its price target lifted to $270 from $250 at Evercore Partners ahead of the opening bell. Despite this technical strength, put players have been converging on the stock lately. Data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.20 for AMZN, confirming puts bought to open have outpaced calls during the past two weeks. This ratio is just 10 percentage points away from a yearly peak, meaning traders have been buying puts over calls at a near annual-high pace.

  • SBUX scored a price-target hike to $60 from $56 at BMO this morning, which could add to the equity's year-over-year advance of about 15%. The stock has also outperformed the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by more than 11 percentage points during the past 60 sessions, which may be why call buying has been heavier than usual on SBUX. In fact, the security's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio is docked at 2.03, indicating traders have bought to open more than two calls for every put during the past 10 weeks. This ratio ranks higher than 71% of all other readings taken within the past year, suggesting bullish bets have been scooped up over bearish at a faster-than-usual clip in recent months.

  • As QCOM prepares to report quarterly earnings this week, the security was upgraded to "buy" from "neutral" and received an upwardly revised price-target adjustment to $70 from $60 at Nomura today. Meanwhile, near-term bulls have been gravitating toward the equity, which has gained more than 8% year-to-date. Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) for QCOM sits at 0.78, signaling calls outstrip puts among options slated to expire in the next three months. This ratio is docked in the 37th percentile of its annual range, conveying short-term traders are more call-heavy toward the stock than usual.

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