Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Upgrades: Amazon.com, Cisco Systems, and Priceline.com

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on AMZN, CSCO, and PCLN

by 1/30/2013 9:00 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Analysts are weighing in today on Internet marketplace Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN - 260.35), tech issue Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO - 20.78), and online travel company Priceline.com Inc. (NASDAQ:PCLN - 700.29). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • Up about 8.7% in pre-market action, AMZN was been flooded with positive attention this morning, despite reporting lackluster quarterly earnings post-close yesterday. Instead, investors are focusing on signs of recovering profit margins. As a result, J.P. Morgan Securities lifted its price target to $333 from $245, while a slew of other brokerage firms -- including Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Evercore Partners, Cantor Fitzgerald, and Nomura -- also upwardly revised their price targets. However, AMZN is no stranger to the bullish spotlight. The stock currently boasts 22 "strong buys" and one "buy" endorsement, compared to seven "holds," and not a single "sell" recommendation.

  • CSCO -- which has climbed nearly 6% so far this year -- was upgraded to "outperform" at Baird last night. Elsewhere, short-term options players seem to share this optimistic attitude toward the security. Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) for CSCO checks in at 0.55, with calls nearly doubling puts among options scheduled to expire in the next three months. This ratio ranks in the 33rd percentile of its annual range, meaning near-term traders have been more call-heavy toward the stock just one-third of the time during the past year.

  • Analysts at Ascendiant Capital started coverage of PCLN with a "buy" rating this morning, which could help add to the stock's year-to-date gain of nearly 13%. Meanwhile, the equity's 50-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio sits at 1.22, indicating calls bought to open have outnumbered puts during the last 10 weeks. This ratio is just 6 percentage points shy of a yearly peak, confirming speculators have been picking up calls over puts at a near annual-high clip.

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