Analyst Upgrades: Newfield Exploration Co., Yahoo! Inc., and Visa Inc

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Newfield Exploration Co. (NYSE:NFX), Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), and Visa Inc (NYSE:V)

by Karee Venema

Published on Feb 29, 2016 at 9:59 AM

Analysts are weighing in on oil-and-gas stock Newfield Exploration Co. (NYSE:NFX), Internet company Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), and credit card firm Visa Inc (NYSE:V). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on NFX, YHOO, and V.

  • NFX is trading higher -- last seen up 2.6% at $26.71 -- after Raymond James echoed Suntrust Robinson's sunny disposition, raising its outlook on the shares to "strong buy" from "market perform." Since bottoming at a two-year low of $20.84 on Feb. 19, the stock has rallied 28%. Meanwhile, short-term option traders have rarely been as put-heavy as they are now, per Newfield Exploration Co.'s Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 2.19 -- in the 91st annual percentile. An unwinding of these bearish bets could help buoy the shares in the near term.

  • Mizuho Securities boosted its price target on YHOO to $32 from $29, sending the shares up 1.3% to $31.77. Additionally, traders are reacting to last Friday's cryptic message from Starboard Value's Jeffrey Smith, who said he sees "a lot of opportunity" in Yahoo! Inc., following recent news that the firm is exploring its options. Technically, YHOO is up 21.5% since hitting a two-year low of $26.15 on Feb. 11. Amid this uptrend, option traders have been loading up on long calls. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), YHOO's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 3.96 sits just 9 percentage points from a 52-week peak.

  • V saw its price target raised to $91 from $85 at Nomura -- representing an expected move into uncharted waters. The upbeat outlook has helped boost V 0.7% this morning to $73.25, extending its recent momentum. In fact, since tagging a year-to-date low of $66.12 on Feb. 9 -- two days before announcing a new venture -- shares of V are up 10.8%. On the sentiment front, speculative players have shown a distinct preference for puts over calls in recent weeks. At the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX, for example, Visa Inc's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.24 sits just 1 percentage point from an annual high.
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