Analyst Upgrades: Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Groupon Inc, and NetApp Inc.

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on BABA, GRPN, and NTAP

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Nov 12, 2014 at 9:03 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Analysts are weighing in today on e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA), mass couponing issue Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN), and tech firm NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on BABA, GRPN, and NTAP.

  • Fresh off a successful "Singles Day" -- and amid rumors the company may be considering eBay Inc's (NASDAQ:EBAY) Paypal to widen its payment options -- BABA was started with an "overweight" rating at HSBC, and had its price target lifted to $125 from $115 at BMO, which also underscored its "outperform" opinion. While the shares lost nearly 4% yesterday to close at $114.54, they've added about 24% since going public in mid-September. Not surprisingly, Wall Street is bullishly aligned toward Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, with all 20 covering analysts sporting "buy" or better assessments. However, additional price-target hikes could be on the horizon, as BABA's consensus 12-month price target of $119.03 sits just a chip-shot away from current trading levels.

  • GRPN forecast strong growth for 2015 at its inaugural analyst day on Tuesday, and as a result, spiked 5% to close at $7.80. This morning, the shares appear ready to open about 1.1% higher, thanks to a trio of price-target hikes at B. Riley (to $9.75 from $7.75), Brean Capital (to $10 from $8), and Evercore (to $6.50 from $5). Each brokerage firm also reiterated its respective rating -- "buy" for the former pair, and "sell" for the latter. On the charts, however, Groupon Inc has lost more than one-third of its value in 2014. In recent weeks, traders at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) have been betting more bearishly than usual -- a dramatic swing from how they were positioned in late October. GRPN's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 0.49 ranks just 10 percentage points from the top of its annual range.

  • Finally, NTAP, which is due to report fiscal second-quarter earnings this evening, saw coverage initiated at Maxim Group with a "buy" rating and $55 price target -- a 30% premium to Tuesday's close at $42.27. Taking a step back, the shares have gained just 5.1% year-over-year, and have struggled in recent months in the $43-$44 area. Elsewhere, option bears have flocked toward NetApp Inc. in recent weeks, perhaps anticipating a disappointing turn in the confessional. Specifically, NTAP's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 2.68 rests above 94% of all other readings from the past year.

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