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Analysts are adjusting their opinions today on social network Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), semiconductor giant Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), and Chinese-language search engine Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.
- After earning a price-target hike and hitting another new all-time high of $45.62 yesterday, Facebook Inc shares settled the session at $44.75, up roughly 116% on a year-over-year basis. In response -- and amid news that FB is testing video ads on its mobile platform -- BMO spiked its FB price target to $50 from $37. The consensus 12-month estimate, however, is $42, sitting below the stock's current price.
- Intel Corporation earned an upgrade from Jefferies today; the firm adjusted its price target to $30 from $27, while lifting its outlook to "buy" from "hold." Over the last year, the stock has been treading water, and has lost about 3% to rest at $22.63. Against this backdrop, the number of shorted INTC shares has steadily climbed to almost 250 million, a two-year high. As a result, nearly 5% of the equity's float is sold short, and it would take more than eight trading days to cover these short positions, at Intel's average pace of trading. This high amount of short interest may be responsible for recent call activity on the shares, as bears look to hedge their bets.
- Overnight, Jefferies lifted its price target for Baidu Inc (ADR) to $153 from $121, while maintaining a "hold" rating. BIDU shares have added close to 45% in 2013 -- and have outperformed the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by 35 percentage points in the last two months -- to arrive at their present perch of $144.50. Meanwhile, despite some recent call-buying activity, short-term options players remain largely skeptical. Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.16 indicates that puts outweigh calls among options expiring over the next three months. What's more, this ratio stands higher than 77% of the past year's readings, pointing to a speculative crowd that is more put-focused than usual.