Analyst Update: Applied Materials, Inc., Amazon.com, Inc., and Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd

Analysts revised their ratings and price targets on Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT), Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN), and Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd (ADR) (MPEL)

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Jun 2, 2016 at 2:41 PM

Analysts are weighing in on semiconductor stock Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT), online retail giant Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), and casino concern Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ:MPEL). Here's a quick roundup of today's brokerage notes on AMAT, AMZN, and MPEL.

  • A price-target hike to $27 from $25 at Goldman Sachs has AMAT trading 0.4% higher at $24.48 today -- bringing its 2016 lead to 31.1% -- after earlier notching a annual high of $24.65. The stock has enjoyed a string of bullish analyst attention of late -- not surprising, as the shares have outperformed the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by more than 22 percentage points over the last three months, thanks in part to recent support from its 80-day moving average. Near-term options traders have been uncommonly call-heavy toward AMAT, as well. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.19 indicates that calls outnumber puts 5-to-1 among options expiring in three months or less. Moreover, this ratio sits lower than 98% of the past year's readings.
  • AMZN is up 0.7% at $724.49 after an analyst from MKM Partners said that Amazon.com, Inc. could become the largest U.S. company by 2020 in an upbeat Barron's report (subscription required). Most brokerage firms seem to have a similarly sunny outlook on the stock, with 86% rating AMZN at least a "buy," and not a "sell" to be found. The shares have added roughly 53% since hitting a year-to-date low of $474.00 in early February. But with a 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) of 67 -- closing in on overbought territory -- AMZN's rally may be running out of steam. On the other hand, history says that the security is likely in for a winning month.
  • Morgan Stanley downgraded MPEL to "equal weight," sending the stock plunging 2.4% to $13.99. The shares have given up 26% over the past 12 months, and traders have been increasing their bearish bets in recent weeks. Specifically, short interest on Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd rose by more than 19% during the most recent two-week reporting period, and now represents nearly a week's worth of trading, at the stock's typical daily pace. And, though options volume is typically light on an absolute basis, there is no doubt that pessimism reigns. Over the past 10 trading days on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), traders bought to open more than 37 puts for each call -- putting the put/call volume ratio in the 99th percentile of its annual range.

For other stocks in analysts' crosshairs, read Analyst Upgrades: Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc., Home Depot Inc, and NVIDIA Corporation and Analyst Downgrades: Apple Inc., Box Inc, and Costco Wholesale Corporation.


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