Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Upgrades: Ctrip.com, Virgin Media, and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on CTRP, VMED, and RRGB

by 10/31/2012 9:24 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Analysts are weighing in today on travel website Ctrip.com International, Ltd. (ADR) (NASDAQ:CTRP - 19.54), entertainment company Virgin Media Inc. (NASDAQ:VMED - 32.51), and hamburger chain Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (NASDAQ:RRGB - 27.48). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • With quarterly earnings quickly approaching, CTRP was upgraded to "buy" from "sell" at Goldman Sachs ahead of the opening bell. The stock has shed more than 46% during the past year, yet calls bought to open have more than doubled puts during the past few months, according to data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). This 50-day call/put volume ratio is docked in the 77th percentile of its annual range, reflecting a healthier-than-usual appetite for bullish options over bearish.

  • VMED -- which boasts a year-to-date gain of 52% -- was raised to "buy" from "hold" at Liberum Capital this morning. The stock has also bested the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by more than 17 percentage points during the past 40 sessions, yet skepticism is still running high toward VMED. Although short interest fell by more than 8% during the past month, these bearish bets still make up a hefty 14% of the security's available float. It would take almost 15 days to buy back these shorted shares, at the equity's average daily trading volume.

  • Up more than 5% in pre-market action, RRGB was lifted to "buy" from "hold" at Miller Tabak today, thanks to a stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings report. The security has added nearly 6% on a year-over-year basis, but the near-term crowd appears less than impressed. In fact, RRGB's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) stands at 1.18, confirming puts outpace calls among options expiring in the next three months. This ratio ranks in the 81st annual percentile, indicating short-term traders have been more put-heavy toward the equity just 19% of the time during the past year.

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