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Analysts are weighing in today on software giant Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), electronics retailer Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY), and Chinese media firmSINA Corp (NASDAQ:SINA). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.
- MSFT -- which has added less than 2% on a year-over-year basis to hover at $32.61 -- saw its price target lifted to $40 from $39 at Bernstein ahead of the opening bell. However, despite the stock's lackluster price action, Microsoft Corporation is no stranger to bullish attention from the analyst crowd. The equity currently boasts 14 " strong buys" and two "buy" endorsements, compared to 13 "holds" and zero "sell" suggestions. From a contrarian perspective, this leaves the door wide open for future downgrades, should MSFT continue to underwhelm on the charts, which could pressure the shares lower.
- Up an impressive 104% year-to-date to trade at $24.20, BBY was upgraded to "buy" from "hold" at Deutsche Bank today, after mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse said it will buy the remaining 50% stake of New BBED Ltd. from the retailer for around $775 million. Nevertheless, short-term traders have been skeptical of Best Buy Co., Inc. lately. In fact, the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.09 registers higher than 82% of similar annual readings, indicating near-term traders are more put-heavy toward the stock than usual. This bevy of pessimistic bets -- particularly within the May series of puts -- could end up translating into options-related support.
- SINA was raised to "buy" from "hold," and received a price-target hike to $75 from $50 at Jefferies this morning, on the heels of yesterday's acquisition news. Meanwhile, Maxim Group upped its price target to $46 from $44. Elsewhere, the stock -- which sports a 2013 gain of roughly 10% and is trading at $55.03 -- is seeing plenty of call-buying activity. In fact, data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows a 20-day call/put volume ratio of 2.76 for SINA Corp, confirming calls bought to open have almost tripled puts during the past month.