Stocks quoted in this article:
Analysts are weighing in today on Internet issue Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO - 20.31), biotech firm Biogen Idec (NASDAQ:BIIB - 149.99), and construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT - 97.45). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.
- Up about 3.5% in pre-market action, YHOO is in the bullish spotlight this morning, after reporting better-than-expected quarterly earnings post-close yesterday. Cantor Fitzgerald lifted its price target to $21 from $17, while Jefferies, BMO, Macquarie, and J.P. Morgan Securities also upwardly revised their respective price targets. The stock has climbed nearly 31% during the past year, yet there are plenty of holdouts among the brokerage bunch. YHOO currently sports two "strong buys" and two "buy" endorsements, compared to 20 "holds," and one "sell" suggestion. This leaves the door open for future upgrades, which could help lift the shares higher.
- BIIB received price-target hikes at UBS (to $157 from $148) and Jefferies (to $187 from $176) today, despite Monday's lackluster fourth-quarter earnings report. Instead, investors are focusing on the company's confidence that its BG-12 drug -- used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis -- will be approved in March. Elsewhere, the equity -- which has gained close to 29% on a year-over-year basis -- has seen plenty of call action in the options pits lately. BIIB's 20-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio sits at 1.42, confirming traders have bought to open 142 calls for every 100 puts during the past month.
- On the heels of yesterday's well-received quarterly earnings results, CAT scored a price-target hike to $105 from $92.50 at Raymond James ahead of the opening bell. (Meanwhile, Jefferies and Barclays also raised their price targets.) The security has climbed almost 9% year-to-date, which could explain the bevy of short-term call activity surrounding CAT. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) checks in at 0.84, indicating calls outstrip puts among options expiring in the next three months. This ratio hovers just 2 percentage points above a yearly nadir, meaning near-term speculators have rarely been more call-heavy toward the equity during the past year.