Stocks quoted in this article:
Analysts are weighing in today on retailer Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT - 64.50), tech concern Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO - 17.35), and cloud computing issue salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM - 144.13). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.
- TGT received a price-target hike to $71 from $65 at BMO this morning, after revealing better-than-expected second-quarter earnings yesterday. However, despite a year-over-year gain of roughly 28%, puts still outstrip calls in the near-term options pits, as evidenced by the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.07. This ratio arrives in the 81st percentile of its annual range, confirming that short-term options players have been more bearishly aligned toward the stock just 19% of the time during the past year.
- Meanwhile, a strong quarterly earnings report helped CSCO secure an upgrade to "buy" from "neutral" at Davenport ahead of the open, along with a slew of price-target lifts. Among the brokerage firms doling out upward price-target adjustments is Mizuho Securities (from $23 to $20), along with Topeka, Cantor, Raymond James, Citigroup, Baird, BMO, and Barclays. Not surprisingly, the equity sports a 20-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 2.29, indicating that calls bought to open have more than doubled puts during the past month. Currently, the security sits on a 52-week gain of more than 9%.
- With fiscal second-quarter earnings slated for Aug. 23, CRM saw its price-target raised to $165 from $155 before the opening bell. Even with a year-to-date gain of 42%, a cloud of pessimism still lingers over the security. The stock's SOIR checks in at 1.41, signaling that puts outpace calls among the front three-months' series of options. This ratio ranks in the 87th annual percentile, conveying that near-term traders have rarely been more put-heavy toward CRM. What's more, short interest accounts for more than 10% of the equity's float. In fact, it would take nearly a week to buy back these shorted shares, at the stock's average pace of trading.