Analyst Update: Activision Blizzard, Baidu, and Pure Storage

Analysts adjusted their ratings on Activision Blizzard, Inc. (ATVI), Baidu Inc (ADR) (BIDU), and Pure Storage Inc (PSTG)

Nov 2, 2015 at 2:20 PM
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Analysts are weighing in today on video game issue Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI), Chinese Internet concern Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU), and flash storage provider Pure Storage Inc (NYSE:PSTG). Here's a quick roundup of today's brokerage notes on ATVI, BIDU, and PSTG.

  • ATVI was last seen trading 0.5% lower at $34.58, after receiving a rating cut to "neutral" from "buy" at BofA-Merrill Lynch. However, the firm simultaneously increased its price target to $37 from $31. Activision Blizzard, Inc. just touched a record high on Oct. 23 -- and has increased 71.6% year-to-date -- but plenty of buying power remains on the sidelines, with more than 17% of its float sold short and a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.30 on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) -- in the 71st percentile of its annual range. ATVI will announce its quarterly earnings after the close tomorrow. Historically, the stock has moved higher in the session after the company's last eight turns in the earnings spotlight. Should history repeat, an unwinding of bearish sentiment could send the shares climbing higher.

  • BIDU is enjoying big gains -- last seen up 3.1% at $193.31 -- in light of two price-target increases following last week's strong third-quarter earnings report. Jefferies increased its price target to $219 from $210, while Barclays increased its price target to $203 from $189. Baidu Inc is still down 15.2% year-to-date, but has been making up serious ground, gaining about 93% since hitting its late-August two-year low of $100. While short interest currently accounts for only 2% of the stock's float, things are looking bearish in the options pits. The security's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.72 on the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX is higher than 95% of all other readings from the last year. Analysts remain bullish, though, maintaining seven "strong buys," two "holds," and not one "sell."

  • Tech startup PSTG startup priced its IPO at $17 (subscription required) just under a month ago, and went public on Oct. 7. Since then, the shares have explored a range of roughly 5 points, between $15.50 and $20.60, and were last seen in the middle of that range, down 3.2% at $17.07. Since late last night, several analysts have weighed in on Pure Storage Inc. Pacific Crest was most ambitious, launching coverage with an "overweight" rating and a $24 price target. Likewise, Raymond James initiated coverage with an "outperform" endorsement and a $23 price target, while Stifel chimed in with a "buy." Evercore ISI and Barclays both issued a more modest $21 price target, with the former offering a "buy" rating and the latter deeming PSTG "equal weight." In options land, meanwhile, speculators have favored long puts over calls, as the stock's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio sits at 3.70
For other stocks in analysts' crosshairs, read Analyst Upgrades: Hewlett-Packard Company, AbbVie Inc, and MGM Resorts International and Analyst Downgrades: Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc, Sabra Health Care REIT Inc, and Yamana Gold Inc.

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