Analyst Upgrades: Facebook Inc, Intel Corporation, and Vale SA

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Facebook Inc (FB), Intel Corporation (INTC), and Vale SA (ADR) (VALE)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Mar 3, 2016 at 9:22 AM

Analysts are weighing in on social network Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), microchip maker Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), and mining stock Vale SA (ADR) (NYSE:VALE). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on FB, INTC, and VALE.

  • FB saw its price target raised to $135 from $125 at Nomura, but the stock has barely budged in pre-market trading. Last night, the shares settled at $109.95, and have been locked in a steady upward trajectory since taking an early February bounce off their 160-day moving average. In terms of sentiment, option traders and analysts are at polar opposites. On the one hand, Facebook Inc's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.66 ranks in the 73rd annual percentile, suggesting short-term speculators are more put-heavy than usual. On the other, 27 of 28 analysts rate FB a "buy" or better, with not a single "sell" opinion in sight.

  • Baird upped its rating on INTC to "outperform" from "neutral," and lifted its price target to $38 from $33. In a note, the brokerage firm wrote, "We think data center has reached sufficient critical mass within Intel's mix to drive a resumption in EPS growth starting in 2017." As such, Intel Corporation stock is 2.5% higher pre-market, after settling at $30.54 on Wednesday. On the charts, the shares have been trying to recover from an early 2016 swoon that saw them drop below $28 for the first time since September, but the they could face resistance in the form of their 120-week moving average just overhead.

    Option traders foresee INTC being rejected, based on data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). Specifically, the stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio across those exchanges sits at an annual high of 3.81, with nearly four puts bought to open for every call. Meanwhile, INTC is reportedly considering throwing its hat into the augmented reality headset ring, joining such notable names as Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).

  • VALE is poised to pop 2.4% at the open, after subsidiary Samarco reached a $5.1 billion settlement with the Brazilian government over last November's deadly dam spill. Also, HSBC upped its price target on Vale SA to $2.80 from $2.20. Technically speaking, the stock has been on the mend since hitting a roughly 13-year low of $2.13 in late January, and last night closed at $3.63, its highest level since late November. Option traders, meanwhile, have been rolling the dice on additional upside. VALE's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 7.10 ranks just 7 percentage points from a 12-month peak.
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