Stocks quoted in this article:
Analysts are weighing in today on Internet issue Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO - 15.77), biotech firm Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN - 87.80), and software developer Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ:CHKP - 42.22). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.
- Up about 4% in pre-market trading, YHOO scored some bullish attention today, after unveiling better-than-expected quarterly earnings post-close yesterday. Susquehanna upgraded the stock to "positive" from "neutral" and raised its price target to $20 from $17, while Nomura and Cantor Fiztgerald also issued upward price-target adjustments. However, the security has lost close to 6% during the past year, which could explain why most of the analysts covering YHOO seem wary of the equity. Only five have deemed it worthy of a "buy" or better rating, compared to 20 tepid "holds" and one "sell" suggestion.
- As AMGN prepares to report third-quarter earnings after today's close, the equity was lifted to "buy" from "hold" at Deutsche Bank this morning. The security has gained about 49% on a year-over-year basis, but that hasn't deterred near-term skeptics. Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) for AMGN checks in at 1.08, confirming puts outstrip calls among options slated to expire in the next three months. This ratio arrives in the bearishly skewed 69th annual percentile, reflecting a healthier-than-usual appetite for puts over calls lately.
- CHKP was raised to "overweight" from "neutral" at J.P. Morgan ahead of the opening bell, which could help ease the stock's year-to-date decline of about 20%. Meanwhile, traders have been showing a preference for calls over puts, as evidenced by the security's 50-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 1.55. This ratio is just seven percentage points shy of a yearly peak, signaling speculators have rarely picked up calls over puts at a faster pace during the past year.