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Analyst Upgrades: Facebook Inc (FB), Mosaic, and Viacom

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on FB, MOS, and VIAB

by 1/16/2013 9:15 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on social networking site Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB - 30.10), agricultural chemical producer Mosaic Co (NYSE:MOS - 59.51), and entertainment firm Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB - 57.82). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • After unveiling a new search tool yesterday, FB received price-target hikes at Barclays (to $30 from $26) and Bank of America-Merrill Lynch (to $35 from $31) ahead of the open. The stock has climbed about 13% so far this year, so it's no surprise that calls have been preferred over puts lately. In fact, FB's 20-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio checks in at 3.48, confirming calls bought to open have more than tripled puts during the past month.

  • Up nearly 8% on a year-over-year basis, MOS saw its price target lifted to $70 from $64 at CIBC today. The brokerage firm also reiterated its "sector outperformer" recommendation. However, sentiment among short-term traders denotes a more pessimistic outlook. Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) for MOS stands at 1.04, with puts slightly outstripping calls among the front three-months' series of options. This ratio ranks higher than 68% of other such annual readings, reflecting a healthier-than-usual appetite for near-term puts over calls.

  • VIAB -- which sits on a 52-week gain of roughly 22% -- scored an upward price-target adjustment to $52 from $49 at Bernstein this morning. Of the 26 analysts that follow the shares (according to Zacks), 16 have named the stock a "buy" or better. However, the stock's average 12-month price target of $59.88 is just a stone's throw away from yesterday's closing price of $57.82. Should the shares continue their upward trajectory, there could be more positive price-target adjustments -- or bullish analyst initiations -- in the cards for VIAB.

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