Analyst Upgrades: Applied Materials, Autodesk, DISH Network

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT), Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK), and DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH)

May 20, 2016 at 9:21 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on tech stocks Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) and Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK), as well as cable service provider DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on AMAT, ADSK, and DISH.

  • After closing last night at $19.91, AMAT is up 8% in electronic trading -- and taking aim at its April 18 annual high of $21.67 -- after the company's strong third-quarter forecast was met with a round of upbeat analyst attention. B. Riley, for example, raised its rating to "buy" from "neutral," while no fewer than eight other brokerages upped their price targets on AMAT. Today's projected price move is certainly good news for option bulls, who were betting on the stock to widen its 6.6% year-to-date lead post-earnings. Those purchasing AMAT's near-term options were getting quite a deal, too. Specifically, Applied Materials, Inc.'s Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 31% sits lower than 75% of all comparable readings taken in the past year, meaning premium on AMAT's short-term options was pricing in low volatility expectations ahead of earnings.

  • ADSK reported a slimmer-than-expected first-quarter loss, but the company's current-quarter outlook came in below estimates. This hasn't shaken the confidence of analysts, however, with the stock receiving price-target hikes from Wedbush (to $57), Canaccord Genuity (to $60), Baird (to $65), and Goldman Sachs (to $70). Technically, the stock has been a standout since bottoming at a two-year low of $41.60 on Feb. 9, up 38.3% at $57.52. Nevertheless, short sellers have been betting on a reversal of fortune. Short interest climbed 15.9% in the most recent reporting period to 9.3 million shares. What's more, it would take over a week to cover these shorted shares, at ADSK's average daily pace of trading. Should Autodesk, Inc. maintain its current momentum, a capitulation from some of the weaker bearish hands could create tailwinds for the shares.

  • Jefferies added DISH to its "Franchise Pick" list, saying "there are many outcomes and opportunities to realize value for DISH shareholders." Additionally, the brokerage firm reiterated its $80 price target for the stock, representing expected upside of 80% to last night's close of $44.39 -- and sitting just a hair's breadth away from DISH's February 2015 all-time high of $80.75. Looking at the charts, shares of DISH Network Corp have surrendered more than 35% over the past 52 weeks -- and options traders have continued to take a skeptical stance toward the stock. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), DISH's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 1.55 rests in the 91st annual percentile.
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