Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Upgrades: Facebook Inc (FB), QUALCOMM, and Electronic Arts

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on FB, QCOM, and EA

by 1/31/2013 9:24 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on social networking site Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB - 31.24), telecom issue QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM - 63.53), and video game guru Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA - 15.08). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • On the heels of reporting stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings yesterday, FB was upgraded to "buy" from "hold," and saw its price target raised to $36 from $30 at Pivotal Research this morning. Meanwhile, Cantor Fitzgerald also upwardly revised its price target to $35 from $33. Additional upgrades could be in store, as six covering analysts maintain a tepid "hold" recommendation for the stock, while the consensus 12-month price target of $33.93 represents a middling 8.6% premium to FB's current perch.

  • Up about 6% in pre-market trading, QCOM was in the bullish limelight today, thanks to Wednesday's well-received quarterly earnings report. Specifically, Piper Jaffray lifted its price target to $83 from $76, while Barclays, Sterne Agee, Brean Capital, Cantor Fitzgerald, and Susquehanna also boosted their respective price targets. The short-term options crowd seems to share this optimism, as Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) for QCOM sits at 0.60. In other words, calls comfortably outstrip puts among options expiring in the next three months. This ratio ranks in the 12th percentile of its annual range, reflecting a stronger-than-usual preference for near-term calls over puts.

  • EA scored a price-target hike to $17 from $15 at Janney Capital ahead of the opening bell, after slightly besting analysts' fiscal third-quarter earnings projections yesterday. Meanwhile, call-buying has been running rampant on the stock. EA's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio sits at 13.08, confirming traders have bought to open more than 13 calls for every put during the last two weeks. This ratio ranks higher than 81% of similar readings taken during the past year, meaning speculators have been picking up calls over puts at a faster-than-usual clip.

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