Analyst Upgrades: Amazon.com, Inc., Alphabet Inc, and Microsoft Corporation

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN), Alphabet Inc (GOOGL), and Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Oct 23, 2015 at 9:14 AM

Analysts are weighing in on Web marketplace Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Internet power Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), and software blue chip Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on AMZN, GOOGL, and MSFT.

  • AMZN is exploding ahead of the bell, up 9.6% after the e-tailer reported a surprise third-quarter profit and received a round of bullish analyst notes. Specifically, no fewer than 17 brokerages upped their price targets, with J.P. Morgan Securities and Piper Jaffray setting the highest mark, at $800 each. This morning's expected bull gap should lift Amazon.com, Inc. past its record high of $580.57, touched in late July, and put the heat on option bears. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), AMZN has amassed a 50-day put/call volume ratio of 1.07 -- just 4 percentage points from an annual high. A capitulation among these skeptics could add more fuel to the stock's fire. Last night, AMZN settled at $563.91.
  • GOOGL is set to add to its more than 28% year-to-date lead, as of last night's close at $681.14. The shares are 10.2% higher pre-market, following the company's earnings beat and newly announced $5.1 billion stock buyback, as well as a subsequent round of upbeat analyst attention. Specifically, no fewer than 25 brokerage firms lifted their price targets on Alphabet Inc -- with Bernstein setting the highest bar, at $950. There are plenty of option bulls celebrating in light of these developments. GOOGL's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 2.37 registers in the 95th percentile of its annual range, meaning traders have been buying to open calls over puts at a near-extreme rate.
  • MSFT is also primed to gap 10% higher at the open -- and to a 15-year high -- driven by better-than-expected earnings and a standing ovation on Wall Street. Specifically, no fewer than nine analysts bumped up their price targets on Microsoft Corporation, which settled at $48.03 yesterday -- 3.4% above its year-to-date breakeven mark. Option traders had been betting bullishly in the lead-up to earnings, per the equity's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 5.95 -- with nearly six calls bought to open for each put. More significantly, this ratio outranks 99% of all comparable readings from the prior year, hinting at peak levels of optimism among speculators.
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