Stocks On the Move: LinkedIn Corp, Spansion Inc., and Imperva Inc

LNKD, CODE, and IMPV are moving sharply in Friday's trading

by Karee Venema

Published on Oct 31, 2014 at 12:01 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Stocks are notably higher today, as traders cheer upbeat central bank news from overseas. Among specific equities moving sharply in today's trading are professional networking platform LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD), flash memory concern Spansion Inc. (NYSE:CODE), and data security specialist Imperva Inc (NYSE:IMPV). Here's a quick look at how LNKD, CODE, and IMPV are performing on the charts so far.

  • Unlike sector peers Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), LNKD is soaring in the wake of its quarterly earnings report -- up 11.7% to linger near $226.72, and back into the black on a year-to-date basis. Adding to the bullish buzz is a round of price-target hikes, including one from Jefferies, which boosted its outlook by $15 to $315 -- uncharted territory for the equity -- and underscored its "buy" rating. (UBS, meanwhile, shaved its price target by $5 to $255, but maintained its "buy" recommendation.) Short sellers are more than likely feeling the sting of today's post-earnings pop, considering short interest jumped 26.5% in the latest reporting period, and now accounts for a healthy 7.6% of LinkedIn Corp's available float.

  • After being halted on the Big Board earlier, CODE was last seen 20% higher at $19.82, despite the company's disappointing third-quarter earnings results and forecast from CEO John Kispert. What's more, today's upside is occurring even as the stock was hit with price-target cuts from Jefferies (to $24) and Topeka (to $22), although both brokerage firms maintained their "buy" ratings. In the two weeks leading up to last night's announcement, option traders at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) bought to open 15.85 calls for every put. With 13.2% of Spansion Inc.'s float sold short, though, a portion of this activity may have been at the hands of shorts hedging against any post-earnings upside.

  • A stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings report and subsequent round of price-target hikes has sent IMPV up 22.5% this afternoon to trade at $39.85. Among specific analyst notes, Piper Jaffray offered up the most optimistic view, boosting its price-target to $44 from $29, and raising its outlook to "overweight" from "neutral." Should the stock continue its post-earnings momentum, another round of price-target hikes and/or a short-covering rally could help propel it even higher. In fact, the consensus 12-month price target of $35 stands at a discount to current trading levels, and it would take more than seven sessions to cover all of Imperva Inc's shorted shares, at average daily trading levels.

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