Stocks quoted in this article:
Analysts are weighing in today on computer giant Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL - 12.29), Internet auctioneer eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY - 53.18), and construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT - 94.63). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.
- Up nearly 4% in pre-market trading, DELL received price-target hikes at Jefferies (to $13 from $10) and Deutsche Bank (to $15 from $13) this morning, amid rumors of a possible buyout by one of several private equity firms. The stock has already climbed more than 21% so far this year, which could explain the bevy of short-term call activity. Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) for DELL sits at 0.62, with calls easily outstripping puts among options slated to expire in the next three months. In fact, this ratio hovers just 3 percentage points above a yearly nadir, meaning near-term traders have rarely been more call-heavy toward the security during the last 12 months.
- As EBAY prepares to report quarterly earnings after tomorrow's close, the security saw its price target lifted to $61 from $59 at Nomura today. However, given the equity's year-over-year gain of roughly 74%, this bullish attention is nothing new for EBAY. The stock currently boasts 14 "strong buys" and four "buy" endorsements, compared to eight "holds," and zero "sell" suggestions. Meanwhile, the average 12-month price target of $56.94 on the security reflects expected upside of about 7% to Monday's closing price of $53.18. Should other analysts follow in the bullish footsteps of Nomura by lifting their price targets, it could spur additional buying demand.
- CAT -- which has trekked almost 6% higher in January alone -- scored an upward price-target adjustment to $124 from $108 at Credit Suisse ahead of the open. The shares have also bested the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by north of 10 percentage points during the past three months. In the options pits, speculators seem to have an optimistic attitude toward the stock, as well. CAT's 20-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio checks in at 1.15. In other words, calls bought to open have outnumbered puts during the last four weeks.