Nearing Key Trendlines, ATVI and YELP Stocks Enjoy Bullish Analyst Notes

Data hints at short-term gains for shares of Activision Blizzard and Yelp

Oct 2, 2017 at 11:03 AM
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Morgan Stanley has revised its outlook on a number of stocks today, including a huge price-target hike for Sarepta Therapeutics. Analysts there also raised their outlook on video game stock Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) and review site Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP). We'll take a closer look at the analyst attention below and how shares of ATVI and YELP are reacting. 

Morgan Stanley Bullish on ATVI Stock

Starting with Activision Blizzard, the brokerage firm said it expects sales from the company's Call of Duty, Destiny 2, and World of Warcarft franchises to lead to strong earnings growth over the next year, adding it's more bullish on ATVI than peer Electronic Arts. The stock was last seen trading at $63.96, down 0.9% for the day. 

During the past year, the shares have gained roughly 44%, touching a record high of $66.58 on Aug. 31. Moreover, security's recent pullback was contained by its 80-day moving average. Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White notes that it has pulled back within one standard deviation of this trendline seven times during the past three years, and such occasions have resulted in an average 21-day gain of 3.1%, with a 71% win rate. 

Activision looks like a solid target for short-term options traders, too. The equity's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 23% ranks just 11 percentage points from a 52-week low, suggesting volatility expectations are relatively muted for near-term options right now. Plus, the stock has a Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) of 90, meaning it's shown a tendency to make bigger-than-expected moves on the charts over the past year, compared to what options traders have priced in. 

Editor's note: This article has been updated by removing an incorrect price-target hike to $128 for ATVI at Morgan Stanley. That price target was for EA stock. 

YELP Stock Hits Fresh High After Price-Target Hike

Shares of Yelp earlier topped out at $44.81 -- a two-year high -- and were last seen trading 2% higher at $44.18, after Morgan Stanley raised its price target to $40 from $26. The security has been on fire since bottoming at $26.93 in early May, but data suggests more upside could be on the way.

Specifically, YELP's recent retreat on the charts was neatly contained by its 40-day moving average. According to White, the stock has averaged a one-month gain of 7.3% following pullbacks to this trendline, with a win rate of 60%. 

There's plenty of pessimism surrounding the shares that could unwind and help guide them higher, too. For starters, the majority of covering brokerage firms still have tepid "hold" ratings on Yelp, so additional bull notes could come through. Plus, the stock has a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 3.78 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), an annual high. An unwinding of these bearish bets could also translate into tailwinds. 


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