Stocks quoted in this article:
As Wall Street chews on a mixed bag of economic reports, and the sale of NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX) to IntercontinentalExchange Inc (NYSE:ICE), stocks are moving on either side of breakeven this morning. Here's a quick update on today's latest brokerage notes, including adjustments for delivery specialist FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX - 92.52), electronic data storage provider Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX - 30.25), and digital marketing services business ValueClick Inc (NASDAQ:VCLK - 19.85).
- On the heels of Wednesday's second-quarter earnings report, FDX was greeted with an upbeat analyst note this morning. Specifically, Jefferies lifted its price target by $10 to $103. This new target sits below the consensus 12-month price target of $104.78, which is a 13% premium to FDX's current level. But this view might be a little too optimistic for FDX, as the stock hasn't entered this area since October 2007. And even though the shares bounced around the $94-$95 neighborhood yesterday, this region has been a solid technical ceiling since March.
- Evercore Partners weighed in on STX earlier today, raising its price target to $33 from $31, and keeping its "overweight" rating intact. This bullish note is the second received in two days, as Craig-Hallum upgraded the hard-disk drive maker to "buy" from "hold," citing a potential catalyst from use of Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AAPL) new Fusion drive. Technically speaking, the shares have enjoyed a stellar performance in 2012, leaping more than 84% year-to-date, and 92.5% over the past 52 weeks. Despite this overall uptrend, the brokerage bunch still maintains a rather skeptical view of STX, as 15 out of 19 analysts doled out "hold" or worse recommendations.
- VCLK saw its rating changed for the better today, as S&P Capital IQ upped the stock to "strong buy" from "buy," and increased its price target to $24 from $22. This move has buoyed the shares roughly 1% at last look, which amplified VCLK's 2012 return to more than 21%. From a shorter-term perspective, the equity has outpaced the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) 18.7 percentage points over the past two months. Considering this positive price action, it should come as no surprise to see such an overwhelming appetite for bullish bets in the options pits, as evidenced by the stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 31.00 on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). However, this recent activity may not so upbeat after all. Short interest on the equity edged 2.8% higher during the most recent reporting period, and now accounts for 11.9% of VCLK's available float. With buy-to-open call volume and short interest rising in tandem, it's possible that short sellers are picking up optimistic options to hedge their pessimistic positions.