Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog
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Analysts are weighing in today on tech giant International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), grocery store chain The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR), and home beverage maker Sodastream International Ltd (NASDAQ:SODA). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • Up a modest 6% year-to-date to hover at $203.04, IBM saw its price target lifted to $210 from $200 at RBC this morning. Meanwhile, 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 1.24 for International Business Machines Corp., confirming puts bought to open have outpaced calls during the past two weeks. This ratio registers in the 77th percentile of its annual range, conveying speculators have been picking up puts over calls at an accelerated clip lately.

  • With quarterly earnings quickly approaching, KR received a price-target hike to $33 from $26 at Cantor Fitzgerald today. The stock has gained more than 54% on a year-over-year basis to trade at $35.18, yet sentiment in the short-term options pits is bearishly biased. Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) for The Kroger Co. checks in at 1.08, with puts outnumbering calls among options with a shelf-life of three months or less. This ratio ranks higher than 75% of similar readings taken within the past year, meaning near-term traders are more put-heavy than usual toward the security right now.

  • SODA -- which has more than doubled in value during the past year and is priced at $71.02 -- scored a price-target boost to $85 from $68 at Oppenheimer ahead of the opening bell. The stock has also bested the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by north of 41 percentage points over the last three months, yet bearish speculation remains alive and well on Sodastream International Ltd. In fact, short interest accounts for nearly 34% of the equity's available float. It would take almost seven sessions to buy back these shorted shares, at the equity's average daily trading volume.

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