Analyst Upgrades: Intel Corporation, BlackRock, Inc., and Google Inc

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on Intel Corporation (INTC), BlackRock, Inc. (BLK), and Google Inc (GOOGL)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Jul 16, 2015 at 9:18 AM
Updated on Jul 16, 2015 at 9:21 AM

Analysts are weighing in today on chipmaker Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), financial firm BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK), and Internet power Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on INTC, BLK, and GOOGL.

  • INTC is basking in the bullish limelight, following a standout turn in the earnings confessional last night. Needham upgraded its opinion to "buy" from "hold," while Ascendiant boosted its rating to "hold" from "sell." On top of that, no fewer than five analysts upwardly revised their price targets on Intel Corporation. In electronic trading, the shares are 2.4% higher, relative to last night's close at $29.69. In fact, last time the company reported earnings, it went on to gain over 4% in the ensuing session. Option bears may be sweating bullets. During the last two weeks at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), traders have bought to open 2.42 INTC puts for every call, a ratio that sits just 2 percentage points from a 12-month peak. An unwinding of this negativity could send the stock higher.

  • BLK, which tacked on 1.1% yesterday to close at $346.49, following an earnings beat, is under fire from Carl Icahn. The activist investor called the company "extremely dangerous," and said it was contributing to a high-yield debt bubble via the sale of exchange-traded funds (ETFs). However, BlackRock, Inc. CEO Larry Fink -- with whom Icahn shared a stage yesterday at the Delivering Alpha Conference -- responded, calling his critic's characterization of ETFs "dead wrong." Not everyone is against BLK -- the stock has received a trio of price-target hikes since yesterday's close, with KBW setting the highest mark at $398. By contrast, RBC slashed its target to $388 from $410 -- still in all-time-high territory. Elsewhere, short-term traders have been buying to open BLK puts over calls at a rapid-fire rate in recent months. The equity's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 2.94 ranks in the 92nd annual percentile.

  • GOOGL, which will report earnings after tonight's closing bell, was upgraded to "outperform" from "market perform" by BMO, which cited higher earnings estimates and stabilizing profit margins. The bullish note has the stock perched 1.1% higher in pre-market trading, and ready to add to its recent advance. Over the past five sessions, Google Inc has popped 7.8% to last night's close at $583.96. In general, the brokerage crowd has shown optimism toward the shares. Twenty-two analysts currently rate GOOGL a "buy" or better, compared to five "holds" and not a single "sell." What's more, the security's consensus 12-month price target of $641.36 stands in uncharted territory.

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