Analyst Upgrades: Google Inc, Facebook Inc, and Shake Shack Inc

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), and Shake Shack Inc (NYSE:SHAK)

by Karee Venema

Published on Aug 11, 2015 at 9:22 AM
Updated on Aug 11, 2015 at 1:05 PM

Analysts are weighing in today on tech titan Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), social network giant Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), and burger joint Shake Shack Inc (NYSE:SHAK). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on GOOGL, FB, and SHAK.

  • GOOGL is up almost 6% ahead of the bell, after the company said it is creating a holding company named Alphabet. The restructuring effort will allow the firm to focus on a variety of projects under the new name, while separately maintaining its core website division under the Google Inc moniker. Analysts were quick to weigh in on the news, with GOOGL upgraded to "buy" from "neutral" at both Stifel and Mizuho, while Cowen and Company and Deutsche Bank each boosted their price targets to $840 -- record-high territory. A trek to all-time highs is nothing new for the stock, though, with GOOGL topping out at its highest perch to date -- $713.33 -- as recently as July 22, and closing last night at $663.14. Option traders, meanwhile, have been bracing for a pullback, per the equity's 50-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 0.60, which ranks in the 78th annual percentile. Should the security continue its impressive run, a capitulation from some of the weaker bearish hands could translate into a fresh burst of buying power.

  • Susquehanna initiated coverage on FB with a "positive" rating and a $125 price target, representing expected upside of 32.8% to last night's close at $94.15 -- and a move to record highs. Similar to GOOGL, though, FB has been a technical standout, rallying nearly 21% year-to-date and hitting an all-time peak of $99.24 on July 21. Speculators have been upping the bearish ante in recent weeks. Specifically, FB's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 0.50 sits higher than 75% of all similar readings taken in the past year. Simply stated, puts have been bought to open over calls at a faster-than-usual clip. An unwinding of these put positions could help propel Facebook Inc even higher up the charts.

  • SHAK's better-than-expected earnings and plans for expansion were met with a price-target hike to $44 from $42 at Barclays. Against this backdrop, the shares are up 6.4% ahead of the bell, after settling last night at $70.64. Since going public in late January, shares of SHAK have added 50%, but more recently, have struggled against the $75 mark. Sentiment, meanwhile, is stacked against the Wall Street freshman, with all six analysts maintaining a "hold" or worse opinion. Plus, more than 39% of Shake Shack Inc's float is sold short, or 4.2 times the stock's average daily trading volume.
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