Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Upgrades: Yelp, ViroPharma, and Angie's List

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on YELP, VPHM, and ANGI

by 11/27/2012 9:01 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Analysts are weighing in today on Internet review forum Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP - 18.99), biotech firm ViroPharma Incorporated (NASDAQ:VPHM - 23.75), and business referral site Angie's List Inc (NASDAQ:ANGI - 10.78). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • Up more than 3% in pre-market trading, YELP was upgraded to "buy" from "hold" at Cantor Fitzgerald this morning. The equity has shed more than 21% so far this month -- while also lagging the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by close to 26 percentage points during the past 40 sessions -- yet the stock is still seeing plenty of bullish options activity. In fact, traders on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) have bought to open more than three calls for every put during the past month, as evidenced by YELP's 20-day call/put volume ratio of 3.52.

  • Despite a decline of more than 13% in 2012, VPHM was raised to "outperform" from "market perform" at Leerink Swann today. Meanwhile, optimistic traders have been gravitating toward the short-term options pits lately. Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) for VPHM checks in at 0.80, confirming calls outstrip puts among options scheduled to expire in the next three months. This ratio registers in the 28th percentile of its annual range, meaning speculators have been more call-heavy toward the security just over one-fourth of the time during the past year.

  • ANGI was started with an "outperform" recommendation at Northland Securities ahead of the open, which could help ease the stock's year-to-date deficit of 33%. Still, this technical weakness may be attracting some bearish speculation, as short interest on the equity jumped by more than 28% during the past two reporting periods. These shorted shares now represent a lofty 19% of ANGI's available float. In fact, it would take more than nine days to unwind these pessimistic bets, at the stock's average daily trading volume.

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