Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Update: AIG, Priceline.com, and MasterCard

Analysts adjusted their positions on AIG, PCLN, and MA

by 12/10/2012 11:26 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Stocks are up in late-morning action, as Wall Street divides its attention between budget talks in Washington and political concerns out of Italy. Here's a quick update on today's latest brokerage notes, including adjustments for insurance conglomerate American International Group, Inc. (NYSE:AIG - 33.68), online travel concern Priceline.com Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN - 634.19), and global payment and technology business MasterCard Inc (NYSE:MA - 479.82).

  • Over the weekend, AIG announced a multi-billion-dollar sale of a majority stake in its aircraft leasing business to a group of Chinese financial firms. This news may have prompted today's sell-off, and price-target cut to $35 from $36 at UBS. Despite this negative note, the analyst crowd is upbeat toward the stock. The average 12-month price target of $39.59 suggests an 17.5% premium to AIG's current perch. Meanwhile, 10 "strong buys," eight tepid "holds," and zero "sell" suggestions have been doled out for AIG.

  • Deutsche Bank weighed in on PCLN this morning, dropping its rating to "hold" from "buy," while also slashing its price target by $90 to $710. The firm believes that PCLN could be on the losing end of its competition with Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE), and smaller rival TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRIP) could benefit from this battle. But PCLN still maintains a strong technical presence, outpacing the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by more than 10 percentage points over the past two months, and tacking on 35% since January. Because of this overall uptrend, the security's Relative Strength Index (RSI) now resides at 62 -- nearing overbought territory -- suggesting PCLN could be due for a short-term breather on the charts. In fact, the shares are off by roughly 3.7% at last look.

  • Finally … MA was greeted with an upbeat note from Nomura today. Specifically, the brokerage upped its price target to $611 from $500 (while maintaining its "buy" rating) on what it sees as MA's ability to withstand another economic downturn. Nomura's new target arrives well above the consensus 12-month price target of $510.73, which represents a slim premium to MA's current trading price. While additional price-target hikes could be on tap, the majority of analysts are bullishly skewed, as MA tallies 22 "buy" or better endorsements, versus six "hold" or worse recommendations.

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