Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Upgrades: Google Inc, Visa Inc, and SunPower Corporation

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on GOOG, V, and SPWR

by 3/24/2014 9:24 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on Internet search titan Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), credit card issuer Visa Inc (NYSE:V), and alternative energy provider SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • GOOG -- which has advanced 33.5% over the past six months to perch at $1,183.04 -- received a price-target lift to $1,450 from $1,400 at Evercore this morning. In the options pits, meanwhile, short-term speculators have been particularly call-heavy. In fact, Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) for Google Inc comes in at 0.70, ranking lower than all other comparable readings from the past year. In other words, call open interest (relative to put open interest) is at an annual-high level among GOOG options expiring within the next three months.

  • V -- which is up 39.5% on a year-over-year basis to trade at $223.37 -- saw its price target upped to $273 from $260 at Guggenheim earlier today, following Friday's news that a U.S. appeals court has upheld the Federal Reserve ruling that caps debit card swipe fees at 21 cents per transaction. (Retailers were advocating for a smaller fee, which a U.S. district court had approved.) Like GOOG, Visa Inc has experienced an extreme level of call activity among its short-term option traders. V's SOIR of 0.59 also ranks the lowest of all other similar readings from the past year, meaning the stock's speculators are more call-focused now than they have been at any other time throughout the last 12 months.

  • Baird increased its price target on SPWR to $42 from $38 this morning, after the stock bounced nearly 5% last week to close at $33.15. While SunPower Corporation has climbed an impressive 178.6% over the past 12 months, investors have upped the bearish ante on the equity of late. In the most recent reporting period, short interest jumped almost 11%, and now accounts for 38.1% of SPWR's available float. It would take more than six sessions to cover these bearish bets, at the shares' average pace of trading. This leaves SPWR open to a short-covering rally, which could be sparked by good news or continued gains in the shares.

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