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Analysts are weighing in today on professional networking site LinkedIn Corporation (NYSE:LNKD - 113.77), broadline retailer Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT - 75.01), and online reservation service OpenTable Inc (NASDAQ:OPEN - 44.71). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.
- Up about 1.6% in pre-market trading, LNKD was upgraded to "overweight" from "equal weight" and saw its price target lifted to $140 from $115 at Evercore Partners today. Meanwhile, Macquarie initiated coverage on the equity with an "outperform" rating and a price target of $135. With a year-to-date gain of roughly 81%, it stands to reason that calls are preferred over puts. In fact, the stock's 20-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio stands at 1.27, confirming that calls bought to open have outstripped puts during the past month.
- After WMT revealed some upbeat news on the guidance front yesterday, Jefferies raised the security to "buy" from "hold" and lifted its price target to $88 from $74 this morning. However, despite the stock's year-over-year advance of more than 36%, near-term puts still outnumber calls, as evidenced by WMT's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.17. This ratio ranks higher than 71% of other such readings taken within the past year, reflecting a healthier-than-usual appetite for puts over calls.
- OPEN was started at Macquarie with an "outperform" endorsement and a price target of $53 ahead of the open, which could add to its climb of more than 14% so far this year. The stock has also outperformed the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by north of 13 percentage points during the past three months, but that hasn't deterred skeptics. Short interest accounts for a staggering 48% of the equity's available float. It would take nearly 13 days to buy back these shorted shares, at the security's average pace of trading.
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