Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Upgrades: LinkedIn, Discover Financial Services, and QUALCOMM

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on LNKD, DFS, and QCOM

by 2/8/2013 9:25 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Analysts are weighing in today on professional networking site LinkedIn Corporation (NYSE:LNKD - 124.09) , financial services firm Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS - 39.35), and telecom issue QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM - 66.54). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • Up nearly 10% in pre-market action, LNKD was in the bullish spotlight this morning, after reporting stronger-than-anticipated quarterly earnings post-close yesterday. Wedbush Securities raised its price target to $140 from $106, while Evercore Partners, Cantor Fitzgerald, BMO, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, Macquarie, Piper Jaffray, and Northland Capital also issued upward price-target adjustments. The stock has climbed more than 62% during the last 12 months, yet a number of analysts still maintain an air of caution toward LNKD. The equity currently sports 15 "buy" or better recommendations, compared to 14 "hold" suggestions. This leaves plenty of room for future upgrades, which could help push the security higher.

  • DFS -- which sits on a year-over-year gain of more than 36% -- was raised to "outperform" from "neutral," and received a price-target boost to $47 from $44 at Credit Suisse today. Nevertheless, puts appear to be the options of choice among the short-term crowd. Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) for DFS checks in at 1.11, confirming puts outstrip calls among options scheduled to expire within the next three months. This ratio is just 6 percentage points shy of an annual high, meaning near-term options players have rarely been more put-heavy toward the stock during the past year.

  • QCOM scored a price-target hike to $80 from $72 at Cantor Fitzgerald ahead of the open, a move that could help add to the equity's year-to-date advance of roughly 8%. Meanwhile, the security's 50-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio sits at 4.06, indicating calls bought to open have more than quadrupled puts over the last 10 weeks. In fact, this ratio ranks higher than 98% of comparable readings collected within the past 12 months, signaling traders have been snatching up calls over puts at a near annual-high pace. This was especially true Thursday, as longer-term calls were popular.

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