Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Upgrades: Cisco Systems, Starbucks, and Renren

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on CSCO, SBUX, and RENN

by 12/4/2012 8:57 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Analysts are weighing in today on tech issue Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO - 19.03), java giant Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX - 51.79), and Chinese social networking site Renren Inc (NYSE:RENN - 3.21). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • CSCO received a price-target hike to $21 from $20 at RBC this morning, which could add to the equity's year-to-date advance of more than 5%. The stock has also bested the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by about 10 percentage points during the past month, yet CSCO continues to attract bearish speculators. In fact, short interest on the security jumped by about 30% over the last two reporting periods. Still, the equity's pessimistic camp is far from crowded, as these shorted shares make up just over 1% of CSCO's available float.

  • Longbow Research initiated coverage of SBUX with a "buy" recommendation ahead of the opening bell. Although the stock has climbed more than 17% during the past year, puts seem to have the upper hand over calls in the short-term options pits. Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) for SBUX checks in at 1.17, with puts outstripping calls among the front three-months' series of options. This ratio ranks in the 53rd percentile of its annual range, reflecting a slightly stronger-than-usual appetite for near-term puts over their bullish counterparts.

  • Up more than 2% in pre-market action, RENN was upgraded to "hold" from "sell" at Deutsche Bank today. The security has shed almost 12% from the year-ago period, but that hasn't fazed optimistic traders. RENN's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio stands at 112.94, confirming speculators have bought to open a whopping 113 calls for every put during the last two weeks. This ratio ranks higher than all other readings taken within the past year, meaning options players have been snapping up calls over puts at an annual-high clip.

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