Analyst Upgrades: Amazon.com, Inc., Yahoo! Inc., and Conn's, Inc.

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN), Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO), and CONN'S, Inc. (CONN)

by Karee Venema

Published on Mar 27, 2015 at 9:30 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Analysts are weighing in on e-commerce giant Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Internet issue Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), and consumer products specialist CONN'S, Inc. (NASDAQ:CONN). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on AMZN, YHOO, and CONN.

  • In the wake of yesterday's raft of fundamental developments -- including reports of a possible buyout target -- AMZN saw its price target lifted to $430 from $405 at Citigroup, representing expected upside of 17% to last night's close at $367.35, and a move into uncharted territory. Separately, the firm announced a new partnership with LiveDeal Inc (NASDAQ:LIVE) this morning. Technically speaking, the shares have put in a strong performance in 2015, boasting an 18.4% lead. What's more, although the stock has succumbed to this week's broader tech sell-off, it seems to have found a foothold atop its rising 10-week moving average. In the options arena, speculators have shown a preference for long calls over puts in recent months. Specifically, Amazon.com, Inc.'s 50-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 1.25 ranks in the 70th annual percentile.

  • YHOO is up nearly 2% in electronic trading, after news of a $2 billion stock buyback -- which comes as the company prepares to spin off its stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) -- was met with an "overweight" initiation and $55 price target at Morgan Stanley. As a point of reference, YHOO hasn't seen the north side of $55 since September 2000, and settled last night at $44.47. It's been a rough year for the stock, which is down around 12%. Against this backdrop, option traders have taken a skeptical stance. At the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX, YHOO's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.37 rests 1 percentage point from a 52-week peak. Additionally, Yahoo! Inc.'s Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.64 arrives in the 96th percentile of its annual range, meaning short-term speculators have rarely been more put-heavy.

  • Piper Jaffray weighed in on CONN -- which is slated to step up to the earnings plate next week. Specifically, the brokerage firm boosted its rating to "overweight" from "neutral," and lifted its price target to $38 from $20, saying the company's stable portfolio is likely to result in strong earnings-per-share upside. The stock has had a standout year, rallying almost 52% to its current perch at $28.39 -- and the equity appears to be poised to continue this momentum today, with CONN'S, Inc. up almost 6% ahead of the bell. Short sellers may be on the verge of capitulating, which could help fuel the security's fire. Short interest accounts for 35.8% of the stock's available float, and it would take more than two weeks to cover these shorted shares, at average daily trading levels.

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